WNCC scores 35 runs in Sunday sweep of Miles

WNCC scores 35 runs in Sunday sweep of Miles
February 26th, 2024 | WNCC Sports Information

The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team combined for 35 runs, 29 hits, and six home runs in taking a doubleheader from Miles Community College on Sunday at Cleveland Field.

Both games saw WNCC behind in the fourth inning and it was what they did afterwards that opened the flood gates for runs. Game one saw Miles hod a 4-2 lead after 3 ½ innings before the Cougars scored five in the bottom of the fourth and nine in the sixth to capture the 16-4 10-run-rule contest.

Game two saw Miles score three times in the second and fourth to hold a 4-1 lead before the Cougars erupted for 15 runs in the fifth inning as Alex Ainsworth missed hitting for the cycle by a double as the Cougars won 19-6.

Ainsworth said the team played well on Sunday with everyone contributing in scoring runs.

“I thought we played pretty well,” sophomore from Conifer, Colorado, said. “They kind of got ahead early but we stuck with our approaches at the plate and played great defense.”

Ainsworth said that his team turned the momentum in both games, especially game two when the Cougars were down 6-1 at one point.

“We got a big momentum with a big inning and that started to click,” Ainsworth said. “Everyone put in really good at bats and that just carried through the team with the chain reaction.”

Game one saw WNCC behind 4-2 before the Cougars scored five in the fourth and nine in the sixth for the win.

The offensive erupted for 13 hits with five extra base hits. Ashton Ross had a big game with six RBIs with a double and home run. Shintaro Inoue also had a big game with four RBIs and two runs scored with a home run.

Dylan Harris had three singles in the win with three runs scored from his lead-off spot, while Garrett Dodd had three hits including two home runs with four RBIs and three runs scored.

While the offense started to click, the pitching was also lights out. Valentin Blanc got the win with five innings of work in allowing just three hits and striking out eight. He walked just two. Rocco Harmon tossed the sixth and struck out all three batters he faced.

WNCC went ahead 2-0 in the third when Dodd reached on a dropped third strike followed by Harris getting a single. Dodd stole home for the first run and Harris scored on a bases-loaded walk.

Miles came right back in the fourth with four runs on a 3-run home run to take the 4-2 lead.

The Cougars responded in the bottom of the fourth with five runs that saw Dodd nail a 2-run home runs followed by Inoue getting a 3-run home run for the 7-4 lead.

WNCC put the game away in the sixth with nine runs while sending 12 batters to the plate. It all started when Bryce Peterson and Arturo Montiel received free passes. Ross then blasted a 3-run home run for the 10-4 lead. A couple batters later, Dodd blasted a 3-run home run to make it 12-4. Inoue made it 13-4 with a single to score Harris. The Cougars then loaded the bases and Ross had a double to score three runs to end the game via the 10-run rule.

Game two was somewhat similar to game one with the Cougars behind after 3 ½ innings at 4-2. Scored first with three in the second only to watch WNCC come back with a run of their own with an Ainsworth solo home run.

Miles followed that with three runs in the fourth for a 6-1 lead. The Cougars answered with three in the fourth to trail 6-4 on just three hits, all singles to start the inning to load the bases.

WNCC put the game away in the fifth with 15 runs while sending 21 batters to the plate with eight hits and seven hit batsman in the frame. The inning started with Ainsworth and Platt getting singled and both scored as Landon Lockwood blasted a 3-run home run for the 7-6 lead. WNCC would had 12 more runs with Ainsworth knocking in three with a triple to make it 12-6 and they never looked back as they score seven more times for the 19-6 lead.

WNCC finished the game with 15 hits, led by Ainsworth’s 3-for-3 day with five RBIs, three runs scored, and a triple and home run. Caleb Caciari also had three hits, all singles. Collecting two hits each were Hunter McCollum, Ryan Platt, Landon Lockwood, and Tucker Deal. McCollum had three RBIs and three runs scored, while Platt had two runs scored on two singles. Lockwood had a home run with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Deal had two singles with three runs scored.

WNCC, 4-8, will be back in action next weekend when they host Dawson Community College on Saturday and Sunday at Cleveland Field.

Game 1

Miles                    000 400 – 4 3 1

WNCC                 002 509 – 16 14 1

WP – Valentin Blanc.

2B – Ashton Ross.

HR – Ashton Ross, Shintaro Inoue, Garrett Dodd (2).

Game 2

Miles                    030 300 0 – 6 11 0

WNCC                 010 3(15)0 x – 19 15 2

WP – Gus Allred.

2B – Shintaro Inoue.

3B – Alex Ainsworth.

HR – Landon Lockwood, Alex Ainsworth.


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