WESTCO and North Platte split two doubleheaders
The WESTCO Zephyrs traveled to play North Platte while the Express stayed home to do the same thing and the results were identical, split doubleheaders.
In North Platte the Zephyrs won the opener 5-2 but fell in the second contest 9-8. At Cleveland Field the Express won the opener 6-5, but lost the nitecap 14-4.
In North Platte, Dylan Busskohl pitched a complete game three-hitter. The win moved Busskohl's record to 3-2 on the year, but it didn't come easy. He worked out of several jams as North Platte stranded nine baserunners. Busskohl struck out five, walked four and hit two batters.
"He pitched a great game," coach Mark Moran said. "He was able to make some great pitches and minimize damage."
Austin Murphy was the hitting star for the Zephyrs. He had two hits and two rbi in the opener. He added three hits and four rbi in the second game.
"Austin is swinging the bat really well," Moran said. "We need to find a way to keep him in the line-up."
In the first game the Torrington native was the designated hitter. In game two he started behind home plate.
The game two effort by Murphy wasn't quite enough as North Platte held on for the win.
WESTCO scored two runs in the top of the second to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Two bases loaded walks to Jackson Hinze and Tharyn Curtis scored the runs.
North Platte scratched back with single runs in the third and fourth to tie the contest. Then came the fifth inning. WESTCO scored two runs in the top of the inning to regain the lead. Murphy had the big hit, a two-run single, but in the bottom of the frame North Platte exploded for seven runs.
North Platte tied the game at 4-4 on a two run double by Ben Sukraw. That chased Zephyrs starting pitcher Andres Morales and brought in Beau Lofink. Lofink proceeded to to walk three straight batters, then hit one and surrender two run scoring singles before getting out of the inning.
The Zephyrs battled back in the seventh inning, scoring four runs. The first four batters in the inning all reached base. Among them was Murphy with a two-run double. After a ground out by Leighton Freeze scored the third run of the frame Rogelio Gurrola plated the fourth with a single. Gurrola had a big game with three hits.
Jackson Hinze followed with another single. Then with two outs Curtis was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That brought Jacob Schmid to the plate. The leading run producer for the Zephyrs hit one deep in the hole as short and was nipped at first to end the game.
"A split of the doubleheader is ok," said Mark Moran afterwards. "We played a solid first game, but couldn't put them away in the second one.
"I probably left Andres in the game one too many batters. That's my mistake. Then Beau struggled with his control. That happens. He'll bounce back and so will the team. I think we are playing better."
They have to bounce back quickly. They have a doubleheader schedueld at Wheatland today. They will have two more games Saturday at Clevland Field. Poudre Valley will play the Z's in a late afternoon game Saturday. That will be followed by a Zephyrs game with Gering PVC at 7:00 p.m. That game will be broadcast on KNEB-AM and kneb.com beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the Zone Pregame Show.
Also at the game WESTCO has announced there will be a drawing for a $1,000 dollar gas grill.
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