GERING, NE – The Western Nebraska Pioneers got a stellar pitching performance from four different arms and a late rally from the bats to top Casper, 10-1, at Oregon Trail Park Stadium on Tuesday night in Gering.
The Pioneers (42-16) tabbed right-hander Isaiah Martinez for his first start of the summer. Limited to 50 pitches over four innings, Martinez allowed just one earned run on a soft single up the middle. He allowed five hits and did not walk anyone on the day while also adding one strikeout. Cameron Richman came on in relief in the fifth inning and shut down Casper (17-42) over 3.2 scoreless innings en route to his fifth victory of the summer. Richman allowed three baserunners (one hit and two walks) while striking out two.
The Pioneers offense was efficient throughout, scoring ten runs on 11 hits on the night. The Pioneers jumped out to an early lead in the first with a 2-spot on Casper right-hander Tyson Ellis. Hobbs Nyberg had an RBI double and then scored on an Alex Achtermann sacrifice fly. Ellis was pretty solid throughout the rest of his outing, but a high pitch count limited him to just five innings of work. Ellis allowed just three earned runs on five hits, four walks and seven strikeouts in those frames.
When left-handed reliever Wyatt Gilbert took over on the mound for Casper in the sixth, the Pioneers exploded. Travis Turney hit a cannon of a home run over the right field fence in the sixth inning to extend the Pioneer lead to 5-1, and then things turned sour for Gilbert in the seventh inning. Lane Harvey hit a bases-clearing double just inside the foul line in left field that capped off a five-run inning and put the game out of reach.
Alex Jorgensen recorded one out to finish out the eighth inning, while Teddy Broxterman tossed a scoreless ninth for Western Nebraska. Ellis took the loss in his last game with Casper, falling to 3-2 on the year. Robert Cruz also struck out three in a scoreless eighth inning for the Horseheads.
The two teams will meet for the 15th and final time this season on Wednesday night at Oregon Trail Park Stadium. The Horseheads will start Western Nebraska Community College right-hander Wellington Mariano, opposite Jack Sinclair for the Pioneers. First pitch is at 6:35 PM MST.