MILES CITY, Mont. – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team outhit Miles Community College on Saturday, but the Pioneers plated more runs in claiming an Empire Conference doubleheader over the Cougars.
The opener saw Miles score seven, first-inning runs and then held on for a 9-5 win. The second game saw WNCC rack up 15 hits, but managed just four runs n falling to the Pioneers 5-4.
The doubleheader win by Miles gives them the fourth seed in the Region IX tournament that begins next weekend. WNCC will wrap up its season on Sunday with another doubleheader against Miles in which it will be the last time the two teams will face each other in Region IX action since Miles is moving to the North Dakota region next year.
The second game was a battle with the Cougars knowing their season was on the line. WNCC had plenty of offense in the game, pounding out 15 hits. The Cougars got on the scoreboard first on a first-inning, 2-out run-scoring single by Tyler Olson.
Miles responded in the fourth with four runs to take a 5-3 lead. WNCC kept fighting. In the seventh, Maher led off with a double followed by a Bermudez single. Maher scored on a groundball for one run. Tommy McRill then had a 2-out single but that was all they could muster in the seventh.
A flurry of hitters had at least two hits each for the Cougars. Maher and Bermudez each finished the game with three hits each. Maher was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle with a single, double, and triple. Maher also scored two runs, while Bermuduz had a home run with two RBIs.
The first game got away from WNCC early with the Pioneers plating seven in the first and held an 8-0 lead after four innings.
That was when the Cougar bats started getting hot, plating four in the fifth to slice the lead to 8-4. The big blows in the fifth included a 2-run dinger by Lightbody followed by 2-out, run-scoring singles by Olson and Tyler Shubert.
WNCC added a single run in the sixth as Cole Williams had a run-scoring single that scored Bova to cut the lead to 8-5. That was as close as they could get.
WNCC outhit Miles 10-5 in the frame. The difference was four fielding errors.
WNCC was led at the plate by Lightbody, Cole Williams and Olson with two hits each. Lightbody had a home run with two RBIs and a run scored. The only other extra base hit came from Bova with a double.
Hunter Parker took the loss in giving up seven runs on just two hits in two-thirds of an inning worked. Devin DeBoer then came in and threw well, going 5 ½ innings in allowing just three hits and two runs.
WNCC 000 041 0 – 5 10 4
Miles 710 001 x – 9 5 1
LP – Hunter Parker
2B – Claude Bova
HR – Mitch Lightbody
WNCC 102 000 1 – 4 15 3
Miles 100 400 x – 5 8 1
LP – Blake Slaymaker
2B – Brandan Maher
3B – Brandan Maher
HR – Jonathan Bermudez