MCCOOK – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team received a seven strikeout performance from Kyler Harris, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars lost an Empire Conference game to McCook 2-1 Thursday afternoon in McCook.
Harris, a freshman, went six strong innings in striking out seven and allowing just two runs.
McCook pitcher Isaac Vargas went nine complete innings in striking out 13 in capturing the win for the Indians.
WNCC falls to 9-17 overall and drops to fourth place and 6-6 in conference play. McCook moves to 9-14 overall and 6-9 in conference play.
Thursday’s contest was definitely a pitcher’s battle with little offense. The two teams combined for 11 hits, WNCC had five.
McCook struck first with a single run in the first on one hit and an unearned run.
McCook went up 2-0 with a single run in the third inning on a run scoring double by JR Maldonado.
After that the Cougars settled in and held McCook scoreless. WNCC finally cuts the deficit in half as Dermot Fritsch scores Luis Alcantara on a sacrifice fly.
WNCC had plenty of chances to tie the game in the later innings. The best chance came in the eighth when Brevin Owen leads off with a triple but fails to get the run across as he gets tagged out at the plate on a ball hit to the shortstop who threw a bullet to the plate.
The ninth saw another opportunity for the Cougars to tie or take the lead as Ty McAninch and Matt Womack earned lead off walks. Both runners were left stranded on the bases.
Owen had the only extra base hit for the Cougars. Four other Cougars had singles in the game including Arnoldo Maltos-Garcia, Dermot Fritsch, Hunter Nelson, and Michael Felton.
Harris picked up the loss, but pitched well in his six innings of work, scattering five hits and walking just two.
Garrett DeClue pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit with a strikeout.
WNCC, 9-17, will be back in action Sunday and Monday when they travel to LaJunta, Colorado, to take on Otero Junior College. Otero is 7-22 overall and 4-10 in conference play.
WNCC 000 010 000 – 1 5 2
McCook 101 000 000 – 2 6 2
LP – Kyler Harris..
3B – Brevin Owen.