A day after watching the WNCC men’s basketball team win a Region IX championship against Otero at La Junta Saturday night, the Cougar men continued the winning ways claiming an Empire Conference doubleheader against Otero Junior College on Sunday in La Junta, Colorad.
The Cougars exploded for 11 runs and 10 hits in taking the first game 11-2. The second contest was a slugfest with WNCC holding on to a 10-9 win.
The two wins Sunday was a marked offensive improvement for the Cougars after falling to the Rattlers 5-1 on Saturday.
WNCC moves to 4-14 on the season, but more importantly is in second place in the Empire Conference standings with a 4-3 record. Otero falls to 4-14 and 2-5 in the conference. Trinidad leads the conference at 5-0.
WNCC cruised to the win in game one, winning 11-2. WNCC pounded out 10 hits in the contest while getting a superb pitching performance from sophomore Claude Bova. Bova went six innings in scattering four hits, two runs, and striking out seven.
Bova had plenty of run support from the offense. WNCC went up 1-0 in the second when Esai Hernandez scored on a Brevin Owen grounder.
WNCC opened the contest in the fifth, plating seven times. The big blast was a no-out grand slam from Jonathan Bermudez to make the score 8-0. WNCC added three more runs in the sixth. Cole Williams started things with a 2-out single. Followed by Tyler Olson reaching on an error. Brandan Mahar tripled to score a run to make the score 11-0.
Otero scored twice in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough.
WNCC was led at the plate by Maher and Bermudez with two hits each. Maher had a triple, two RBIs, and two runs scored, while Bermudez had a home run, four RBIs, and a run scored.
The two teams combined for 19 runs and 24 hits in game two. WNCC finished with 15 hits including five doubles. The Cougars needed every one of the 15 hits to get by the Rattlers. The Cougars plated one run in the first, only to watch Otero plate three to grab a 3-1 lead.
WNCC went up 6-3 with a 5-run, third inning on five hits. Williams started the rally with a double followed by a run-scoring double by Maher, a 2-run double by Harrison Yates, and a run-scoring single by Bova.
WNCC went up 7-3 with another run in the fourth before Otero sliced the lead to a single run with a 3-run fourth, 7-6. WNCC added two more in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Maher and Bermudez. The Cougars added what proved to be the winning run in the seventh on a Bova single that scored Yates.
Otero scored three runs in the seventh and had the tying run on base before Nate Kolb got a pop out to Cougar third baseman Maher for the final out.
WNCC was led at the plate by Maher with three hits, including a double, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Williams also had three singles with three runs scored.
Bova, who picked up the first-game win on the mound, went 3-for-4 at the plate in the second game. Bova had a double with two RBIs.
Bermudez and Mitch Lightbody each had two hits. Lightbody had a double with a run scored, while Bermudez had two singles with two RBIs, and a run scored.
Harrison Yates also had a double in the game with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Bermudez picked up the win on the mound, going 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, six runs and striking out three. Nate Kolb picked up the save, tossing the final 3 1/3 innings in allowing four hits, three runs and striking out four.
Saturday’s 5-1 loss was a close game. WNCC managed just four hits in the contest compared to nine for Otero.
WNCC’s only run came in the second on a Bova solo home run. Otero scored five runs with single runs in the second, sixth, and eighth, and two in the fifth for their five runs.
Bova led the charge at the plate, getting two of the team’s four hits. Bova had a double, home run, run scored, and a RBI.
WNCC will be back in action Tuesday when they begin its Spring Break trip of games, taking on South Mountain Community College.
WNCC 010 073 0- — 11 10 4
Otero 000 002 0 – 2 4 2
WP – Claude Bova
3B – Brandan Maher
HR – Jonathan Bermudez
WNCC 105 102 1 – 10 15 3
Otero 300 300 3 – 9 9 2
WP – Jonathan Bermudez
S – Nate Kolb
2B – Brandan Maher, Claude Bova, Cole Williams, Mitch Lightbody, Harrison Yates
WNCC 010 000 000 – 1 4 4
Otero 010 021 01x – 5 9 2
LP – Alex Oehme
2B – Claude Bova
HR – Claude Bova