LA JUNTA, Colo. – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team earned a split with Otero Junior College on Monday.
WNCC dropped the first Empire Conference contest 9-0 before rebounding to earn the split with a strong pitching performance from Chandler Young to earn the 6-4 win.
The Cougars went 1-3 over the weekend after dropping a pair of one-run defeats to Otero 3-2 in 11 innings and then 5-4.
The Cougars, 10-20, fell to 7-9 in conference action and are four games out of first place. Northeastern leads the conference at 9-5 while Lamar, Trinidad State, and Southeast all have seven conference losses.
WNCC’s win on Monday was a contest where the Cougars got clutch hits and put together a complete game to get the win. WNCC outhit Otero 11-5 and six of the hits went for extra base hits.
Brevin Owen had the hot bat in the contest, going a perfect 4 for 4 with two doubles, a triple, and two runs scored. Mitch Osborne also had two hits with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
Ty McAninch finished with a double in the game while Michael Felton had a triple.
WNCC fell behind the 8-ball right away as Otero scored a run in the first for the 1-0 lead. The Rattler lead did last with WNCC coming right back in the second with three runs. Owen led off with a triple and scored on an Osborne double. WNCC scores twice more on just one hit. John Betsch made the score 3-1 with a run-scoring single.
WNCC added two more in the sixth to grab a 5-1 lead. Owen led off with a double and scored on a Osborne single. Osborne would later score by stealing home.
Leading 5-2, WNCC added an insurance run with a single run in the seventh to take a 6-2 lead into the seventh. Otero made the game interesting scoring twice in the final at bat on two hits and had the tying runs in scoring position when McAninch got a Rattler to fly out to Ethan Miller for the win.
Chandler Young earned the win on the mound with 5 2/3 innings pitched while allowing just three hits, two runs and fanning six. McAninch came in and collected the save in getting the final four outs while allowing two hits and two runs.
The first game didn’t go WNCC’s way. Otero outhit the Cougars 9-4. WNCC had plenty of runners, but also hit into three double plays to thwart scoring opportunities.
Otero scored one in the third and opened the game with five in the fourth and three in the fifth for a 9-0 lead.
WNCC will be back in action for its home opener when they host division-leading Northeastern Junior College on Thursday in a doubleheader.
WNCC 000 000 0 – 0 4 2
Otero 001 530 x – 9 9 0
LP – Hunter Parker.
WNCC 030 002 1 – 6 11 2
Otero 100 001 2 – 4 5 0
WP – Chandler Young; S – Ty McAninch.
2B – Brevin Owen 2, Ty McAninch, Mitch Osborne.
3B – Brevin Owen, Michael Felton.