HASTINGS, NE – The Western Nebraska Pioneers had plenty of opportunities, but came up short in a Thursday night loss to the Hastings Sodbusters, 5-1 at Duncan Field.
The Pioneers (23-11) scored the first run when Hobbs Nyberg came home on a passed ball in the top of the first inning, but from there, Western Nebraska never managed to secure another rally. The Pioneers left six men on base, hit into a season-high three double plays, and were caught stealing twice in an uneventful day offensively.
Trey Kissack took the ball for his fourth straight start against the Pioneers, and was effective, allowing just one run over six innings on three hits and three walks while fanning six. Behind him, Cedric Moreno and Jonas Lovin combined for three innings of scoreless relief, allowing just three baserunners and striking out three.
The Pioneers sent Chet Jones to the mound, and he struggled for the second straight outing, although he did finish strong. Jones allowed five earned runs in four innings of work on six hits and four walks, with four strikeouts. Behind him, Cameron Richman was excellent, striking out six over three perfect innings, and Alex Jorgensen tossed a scoreless frame.
Ultimately, the Pioneers hit the ball hard but were unable to find holes in the defense to drive in runs. Hobbs Nyberg reached base four times in a 2-for-2, two walks night, and Andrew Bates had two hits, including a double. Luther Woullard also collected a hit for the Pioneers.
Western Nebraska returns home for a four-day homestand beginning on Friday against Hastings. Brandon Morse is expected to take the ball for the Pioneers, with first pitch at 6:35 PM MST.