MILES CITY, Mont. – The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team finished the season with a split of Empire Conference games on Sunday in Miles City, Montana.
WNCC opened the day with a big offensive effort, plating seven runs in the second inning in earning the 11-1 5-inning win. The second game saw Miles score five times in the sixth to register the 7-4 win.
WNCC got on the scoreboard first with a big second inning, scoring seven times on four hits. Brandan Maher started the frame with a leadoff single. Cooper Buchhammer scored the first run with a hard ground ball single. The runs snowballed from there with Braden Lofink adding a run-scoring single with Maher ending the scoring with a 2-run double for the 7-0 lead.
WNCC never looked back with the fine pitching of Jacob Pekol and Nat Andresen. Pekol went three innings in allowing just one run and one hit while striking out three. Andresen tossed the final two innings in allowing no hits and striking out two.
WNCC put the game away with a single run in the fourth and three in the fifth to go up by 10 to end the game via the run rule. The fourth inning saw Maher rip a run-scoring single for an 8-1 lead.
The fifth saw Cole Williams score a run with a double and then Maher plated Williams with a single.
WNCC pounded out nine hits in the contest. Maher led the way with a 4-for-4 game with a double and four RBIs. Buchhammer also pounded out two hits, while Williams had the other extra base hit with a double.
The second game saw WNCC hold a 3-2 lead after 5 ½ innings. Miles scored single runs in the first and second only to watch WNCC bolt back with a single run in the fifth and two in the sixth. The fifth saw Tyler Olson get a double and scored on a Tommy McRill double.
The sixth inning saw the Cougars grab the one-run lead with two runs on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
Miles came back with five runs in the sixth to grab a 7-3 lead. WNCC tried a seventh-inning comeback as Braden Lofink walked and scored on a fielder's choice out.
Four different pitchers saw action in the game. Kale Litzelman started and went three innings in allowing two runs and three hits. Nate Kolb followed with two innings of work allowing just two hits. Wellington Mariano followed with two-thirds of an inning in allowing five runs on one hit. Andres Garcia finished off the game.
WNCC will say goodbye to 13 sophomores after these season, including Scottsbluff and Gering graduates Buchhammer and Esai Hernandez. WNCC will also lose Williams, Maher, Olson, Pekol, Andresen, McRill, Claude Bova, Alex Oehme, Jonathan Bermudez, Blake Slaymaker, and Tyler Shubert.
WNCC 070 13 – 11 9 5
Miles 001 00 – 1 5 1
WP – Jacob Pekol
WNCC 000 012 1 – 4 5 1
Miles 110 005 x – 7 8 0
LP – Wellington Mariano