Neosho County Community College baseball had a successful weekend versus Northeast Nebraska Saturday and Sunday at Hudson Field.
On a temperate weekend, the Panthers went 3-1, pushing their record to 5-1 on the early season with a 12-5 win in Game 1, a 4-0 victory in Game 2, a 14-4 win in Game 3, and an 11-5 loss in Game 4.
In Game 1, freshman designated hitter Mack Clark had a big day, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs, including two homers. Freshman right fielder Brett Wiemers mustered up a 2-for-4 day with four RBIs, including a double. Sophomore third baseman Andrew Brautman registered a 2-for-4 outing with two RBIs, including a home run. NCCC recorded 11 hits on the day to Nebraska’s eight.
Freshman starting pitcher Taylor Parrett struck out eight, walked two, and gave up three earned runs and six hits in five innings for the win. Relieving Parrett was freshman Jake Beckmann, who in two innings walked just one and gave up a hit.
One of the bigger innings started in the bottom of the first when Wiemers stroked a three-run double. An inning later, Clark smoked a solo home run, and Brautman lifted a two-run homer to put the score at 6-1.
The biggest inning for NCCC was the bottom of the fourth when sophomore centerfielder Khalil Thrasher and freshman first baseman Mason Lundgrin walked to force in runs. Freshman leftfielder Drew Miller scored on a wild pitch, and Wiemers grounded out to second base, but a run scored.
One inning later, Clark again had a solo homer and Thrasher had an RBI-single.
Pitching-wise, a big inning was when Neosho was up 6-3 in the top of the fourth and Parrett had two strikeouts and a fly-out to end the inning.
“Parrett was not his normal (self) in Game 1, but still competed well enough to win,” 35th-year NCCC head coach Steve Murry said.
Miller went 3 for 3 with three RBIs, including a homer and a double, while Lundgrin batted 1 for 3 with a solo home. Sophomore shortstop Daegan Brady was 1 for 3 and freshman second baseman Jordan Helm hit 1 for 2. Neosho had a total of six hits to Northeast’s five.
On the mound was freshman starting pitcher Jack Ebright, who struck out seven, walked none, gave up no earned runs and five hits in a complete game, tallying a win.
In this game, Neosho scored first thanks to Miller’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first. The Panthers put up two more runs with Miller’s RBI-double and Lundgrin’s solo homer.
Ebright protected the 4-0 lead in the top of the seventh thanks to two pop-ups and a strikeout.
“Game 2 was Jack Ebright and he was absolutely brilliant. He kept hitters off balance all game to pick up a shutout,” Murry said.
On Sunday in Game 3, Thrasher was 1 for 2 with five RBIs, including a three-run bomb, Wiemers went 2 for 4 with two ribbies, Brady hit 2 for 3 with two RBIs, including a two-run double, and Brautman tallied a 1-for-2 day with two RBIs. Neosho amassed a total of 10 hits to Northeast’s five.
On the hill was freshman starting pitcher Owen Chaffin, who picked up the victory with seven strikeouts, three walks, no earned runs, and five hits.
“Game 3 was Owen Chaffin and after a rough start, (he) settled in and did a nice job,” Murry said.
Northeast got on board early, but the Panthers retaliated in the bottom of the first with four runs and three hits. Thrasher walked and brought in a run, Lundgrin smacked an RBI-single, and Wiemers smoked a two-run single.
NCCC’s biggest inning was the bottom of the second. Thrasher picked up an RBI after reaching on an error. Freshman DH Tyler Dinges hit an RBI-single. Brautman racked up a two-run single, Brady sliced a two-run double, and then batting around, Thrasher annihilated a three-run homer.
“Hitting-wise, we had some really good performances by Miller, Thrasher, Brady and Wiemers,” Murry said. “(We) had some poor performances by a few also. (It) gave us some things to work on.”
In the only loss of the year thus far, Miller put up a 2-for-3 game with three RBIs, including his third homer of the year. He is now up to an average of .529. Thrasher racked up a 2-for-4 day, Wiemers went 2 for 3 and freshman catcher Ivan Witt was 2 for 3, including an RBI-double.
Freshman starting pitcher Drake LaRoche struck out three, gave up six earned runs, no walks, and 11 hits in 5 and 2/3 innings. Freshman middle reliever Colten Nelson in a 1/3 of an inning had one strikeout and no earned runs and no walks, and sophomore reliever Nathan Hungate in an inning of work struck out two, walked one, and gave up three earned runs and three hits.
Miller got things started after his solo shot in the bottom of the first, then Northeast scored three runs on three hits.
NCCC responded thanks to Witt’s RBI-double and scoring a run off of a wild pitch. Miller stroked a two-run single in the inning as well.
Nebraska went on to score a run off of a groundout in the top of the fourth and two runs on five hits in the top of the fifth. In the sixth, the foe managed two more runs on three hits. And in the top of the seventh, Nebraska scored three runs on three hits.
“Drake LaRoche wasn’t his normal sharp self and hit three guys and gave up some damage with two outs,” Murry said. “We were not good from the bullpen in Game 4 either.”
NCCC (5-1) won’t play until March 9 at 1 pm at Hudson Field versus Crowder College, the No. 7 team in the nation. For now, the team will essentially scrimmage multiple times this week in an effort to stay ready.