WNCC baseball ties home run record with split with Otero on Sunday

WNCC baseball ties home run record with split with Otero on Sunday
April 15th, 2024 | WNCC Sports Information

The Western Nebraska Community College baseball team tied a school record for most home runs in a contest when the Cougars blasted eight home runs in a 22-12 win over Otero College in the second game on Sunday.

In the first contest, the Cougars offense wasn’t as explosive as they fell 4-1 to the Rattlers.

WNCC dropped 3-of-4 to Otero over the weekend and is now tied with McCook in the Empire Conference at 12-4. Southeast Community College is on top at 14-2. WNCC will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Southeast for a crucial 4-game series.

The second game had all the dramatics as the Cougars belted out 20 hits and 22 runs with eight home runs and three doubles. Otero also had the offensive going as they managed 18 hits with two home runs.

WNCC’s home run power saw Arturo Montiel blast three including a grand slam followed by two from Shintaro Inoue, and one each from Ashton Ross, Caleb Caciari, and Hunter McCollum.

The eight home runs in a game ties the record set by the 2003 team when they hit eight in the regional tournament. Montiel came within one home run from tying the record for home runs in a game with his three. He is now tied with Pete Rogers (2003) and Aurello Monteagudo (2004). Rogers hods the record with four home runs in a game with McCook in 2003.

Montiel said getting the win in the second game was important to salvage at least one game from the weekend.

“It was big and vital for the team to get at least one win out of this and know we are tied with McCook,” the freshman catcher said. “The second game was pretty good and we had lots of confidence and our ABs (at-bats) were pretty good. We played solid in that second game.”

The offensive was definitely hitting on all cylinders in that second game as Montiel led the team, going 4-for-5 at the plate with three home runs, four runs scored, and six RBIs. Right behind him was McCollum, Inoue, and Caciari each with three hits. All three had a home run while Caciari scored four runs, McCollum had three RBIs, and Inoue had three runs scored and four RBIs.

Ashton Ross, Mathieu Levesque and Dylan Harris all had two hits. Levesque had three RBIs with a double, Harris had two runs scored with a double, and Ross had a home run with three runs scored and three RBIs.

Otero scored first with a run in the first, but WNCC answered with four in the first inning on two home runs. Caciari started the inning with a walk and then Inoue blasted a 3-run home run. With two outs, Tyler Easter walked and Ross scored him with a home run for the 4-1 lead.

WNCC added a single run in the second as Montiel got the first of his three home runs. This one was a solo shot to make it 5-1.

Otero came back with three in the third and then plated three in the fourth to take a 7-5 lead. WNCC came back with authority in the bottom of the fourth, plating 11 runs. The fourth started when Harris doubled followed by a Caciari single. McCollum then unloaded on a pitch for a 3-run home run.

Otero then walked the next three batters to load the bases. WNCC got two free runs as Ross was hit by a pitch and Levesque earned a walk to force in runs. Harris then singled in another run for a 15-7 lead. With the bases juiced, Montiel sent a pitch high over the centerfield fence for a grand slam and a 15-7 lead. WNCC wasn’t finished as the Cougars loaded the bases once again as Caciari and McCollum each singled and Inoue was hit by a pitch. Peterson scored one with a fielder’s choice hit to make it 16-7.

Otero came right back in the fifth with three runs to make it 16-10. WNCC added five in the sixth inning to take a 21-12 lead. The sixth started with back-to-back home runs as Montiel got his third of the game followed by Caciari blasting one to make it 18-10. Inoue followed with a one-out solo home to make it 19-10. With two outs, WNCC plated two more on a Levesque double for the 21-10 lead.

Otero stayed in the game as they scored two in the seventh to avoid the game being called due to the run rule. WNCC didn’t waste any time in the seventh to end the game. Montiel started the inning and instead of getting a home run, which would have tied the school record for most home runs in a contest, Monteil got a single. Tucker Deal followed with a walk. Inoue came through with the walk-off single that scored Montiel with the game-ending run.

The second game was a sharp contrast from the first game where the two teams combined for 14 hits and just five runs. Otero only scored two runs each in the third and seventh inning while WNCC plated theirs in the seventh as Alex Ainsworth singled in Easter.

Game 1
Otero                    002 000 2 – 4 8 0
WNCC                 000 000 1 – 1 6 1
LP – Valentin Blanc.

2B – Ashton Ross.

Game 2
Otero                    103 330 2 – 12 18 0
WNCC                 410 (11)05 1 – 22 20 0
WP – Nick Tremblay.

2B – Mathieu Levesque, Dylan Harris, Bryce Peterson.

HR – Ashton Ross, Arturo Montiel 3, Caleb Caiari, Hunter McCollum, Shintaro Inoue 2.


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