Cougars open spring break with win over Canadian All-Star team

COOLIDGE, Ariz. -- Ozzie Gonzalez was a single from hitting for the cycle as the Western Nebraska Community College baseball team opened its Spring Break trip with a 9-7 win over an all-star team from British Columbia, Canada, Sunday in Arizona.

Gonzalez finished the day going 4-for-4 with a doubles, two triple, a home run, three RBIs, and three runs scored in powering the Cougars to the win.

WNCC coach Mike Jones said they played well offensively, finishing with 12 hits including six extra base hits.

"We played well. We could have pitched better but offensively we played well," Jones said. "What Ozzie did offensively was impressive. He put on a show today [Sunday]."

The Cougars opened the contest by plating two runs in the first inning Gonzalez tripled in Zach Ostergard with the first run before Gonzalez scored on an Alex Michaud single.

Canada took their first lead of the game in the second by plating four runs and then added a single run in the third for a 5-2 lead.

The lead was short lived as WNCC added four runs in the third on five hits. JT Core started the inning with a single followed by a run-scoring double by Cameron Snyder. Gonzalez then launched a 2-run home run to tie the game. WNCC took the lead as Nick Vanthillo singled home Michaud for the 6-5 lead.

Canada came back to take a 7-6 lead with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The Cougars went back in front with three runs in the seventh on just two hits. Gonzalez started the inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Then, Keeton Krause doubled in Gabriel DeLa Rosa and Michaud for the 9-7 lead.

Grant Piccoli and John Timmins then came in and pitched the eighth and ninth inning to shut down the Canada bats. Timmins picked up the save by striking out two and allowing one hit in the night inning. Kyle Shoutta picked up the win tossing the seventh inning in relief of Jason Palser, who went six innings and scattering nine hits and allowing seven runs. Palser struck out nine and walked five in the game.

WNCC had three players finish with multiple hits. Besides Gonzalez's big day, Michaud went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Vanthillo went 2-for-4. Also picking up doubles were Snyder and Krause. Krause also had two RBIs.

WNCC will be back in action today when they face Glendale Community College in Glendale, Ariz., in a 9-inning game.



Canada 041 011 000 -- 7 10 2

WNCC 204 000 30x -- 9 12 2

WP -- Kyle Shoutts, S -- John TImmins; 2B -- Cameron Snyder, Ozzie Gonzalez, Keeton Krause; 3B -- Gonzalez 2; HR -- Gonzalez.

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