PHOENIX – Kale Litzleman struck out nine in leading the Western Nebraska Community College baseball team to a 3-2 win over Phoenix College on Thursday during the team’s Spring Break trip in Arizona.
Litzelman went five strong innings in striking out nine and scattering four hits and two runs in picking the win on the mound. Devin DeBoer tossed the final four innings in striking out four and pitching hitless ball.
Phoenix struck first in scoring two, first-inning runs. After that, Litzelman and DeBoer settled in and shut down Phoenix.
In the meantime, it took WNCC four innings to figure out the Phoenix pitcher. The Cougars scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh in clutch fashion.
The fifth saw Cole Williams hit a grounder that scored pinch-runner Arnoldo Maltos-Garcia to cut the deficit in half.
WNCC tied the game in the sixth in practically the same fashion as they did in the fifth. This time it was Claude Bova that hit the grounder that forced an error to score Jonathan Bermudez from third.
WNCC took the lead in the seventh. Braden Lofink, Mitch Lightbody and Williams all had consecutive singles to load the bases. Bermudez was then plunked with a pitch to force in a run. WNCC couldn’t do any more offensive damage in leading 3-2.
That was all DeBoer needed as the freshman pitcher shut down Phoenix in the final three innings. In getting nine straight outs on ground balls and pop outs for the win.
WNCC racked up 10 hits in the contest with just one extra base hit. Lightbody led the charge with a 3-hit day with all singles. Collecting two hits each were Williams, Bermudez and Lofink. Bermudez had a double with a run scored an RBI.
WNCC will play two games on Friday, beginning with a game with GateWay Community College in the morning and then an evening game with Phoenix College at night. The Cougars will then wrap up the spring break trip on Saturday against Mesa Community College.
WNCC 000 011 100 – 3 10 1
Phoeniz 200 000 000 – 2 4 2
WP – Kyle Litzelman
3B – Jonathan Bermudez