The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team scored early and then held on to top McCook Community College 11-7 in an Empire Conference game Sunday afternoon at Cleveland Field.
With the win, WNCC moves to 14-21 overall but more importantly into third place in the conference standings with an 11-10 record, just a half game ahead of Lamar (10-10) and Southeast (9-9).
WNCC coach Mike Jones said winning three games against McCook over the weekend was huge.
“We are excited about the weekend,” Jones said. “To win three games in conference is a big deal for us. It puts us in a lot better position for us in the conference standings and some momentum going into the rest of the season.”
A big reason for the three wins was the Cougar’s offense. WNCC finished the 3-game series by scoring 36 runs and collecting 37 hits.
“The offense has been huge this week,” Jones said. “We have some guys that are really starting to come around. Guys are starting to learn from their past at bats and starting to put together a lot of consistency offensively. If we can continue compiling a lot of consistent at bats throughout the lineup, we will continue to put up some runs.”
Sunday was no different. Jones said his team started strong and did enough to get the win.
“We came out in the first inning with a really good offensive plan,” Jones said. “The guys did an excellent job of executing and handling the fastball away and the changeup to get a big lead early. From there were able to manufacture some runs throughout the game and keep the lead under control.”
WNCC did start strong by scoring six runs in the first inning to grab a 6-1 lead. Ty McAninch led off the first with a triple and scored on a passed ball. Brevin Owen then doubled. Luis Alcantara singled to score two for a 3-1 lead. Q Miller followed with a 3-run home run.
WNCC added two more runs in the third on a Owen solo home run for an 8-2 lead. WNCC led 9-3 and later 9-5 after McCook scored single runs in the fourth, sixth, and seventh. TH Cougars added two insurance runs in the seventh for a 11-5 lead.
McCook out hit the Cougars 14-10 in the contest. Three Cougars had two hits each. Owen had a double and home run with two RBIs and three runs scored. Luis Alcantara had two singles with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Hunter Nelson had two singles. Anoldo Maltos-Garcia and Harrison Yates each scored two runs in the game.
Hunter Parker picked up the win by going five innings in allowing six hits and three runs, while striking out four. Chandler Young picked up the save, going four innings in scattering eight hits and allowing four runs and striking out two.
WNCC is slated to host Otero Junior College on Wednesday in a doubleheader, but those games are questionable depending what the weather forecast has in store for the Panhandle.
McCook 110 101 102 – 7 14 2
WNCC 602 010 20x – 11 10 1
WP – Hunter Parker; S – Chandler Young.
2B – Brevin Owen.
3B – Ty McAninch.
HR – Brevin Owen, Harrison Yates, Q Miller.