GERING, NE – In the final meeting of the season between the Western Nebraska Pioneers and Casper Horseheads, the Pioneers offense was sharp and blew the game open early en route to an 18-8 rout at Oregon Trail Park Stadium.
The Pioneers (43-16) finish 2018 with a season series record of 12-3 against Casper (17-43), with two of the three losses coming in the month of May. The Pioneers got good pitching in the front end of the game, with starter Jack Sinclair tossing three shutout innings while on a strict pitch limit as he prepares to start Tuesday’s one-game playoff. Gunner Pickett allowed one run in 2.1 innings of relief to earn his first victory with the Pioneers.
Wellington Mariano started for the Horseheads, and the Western Nebraska Community College product was solid through three innings, allowing just three runs, before the floodgates opened in the fourth. Jack Pauley hit a booming grand slam off of Mariano to end his evening after he allowed eight hits on eight hits, five walks and zero strikeouts over 3-plus innings. Kobe Stoner was not much better in relief, allowing seven runs over 1.1 innings, and the game was essentially out of reach from then on.
In his last game with the Pioneers, Luther Woullard was 2-for-5 with a homer and four runs batted in. Travis Turney continued his nice stretch at the plate with three hits in five at-bats, Colin Ludwig was 3-for-4, Hobbs Nyberg added a double and Nolan Metcalf his his eighth homer of the season.
The Pioneers will head to Dickinson, N.D. on Thursday for the start of a two-game series with the Badlands Big Sticks. Jonny Petsch takes the ball for the Pioneers, with first pitch set for 6:35 PM MST.