Weatherford College looked ripe for a sweep of Cisco College Monday in a North Central Texas Athletic Conference baseball double header, but couldn’t quite close the deal, thanks to a Wrangler’s grand slam that disrupted its plans.
After dominating the opening game to force an early end to the 13-3 laugher, WC’s bats failed to overcome the 4-run shot in the second game, losing 4-2.
Freshman Josh Easley took the mound for the Coyotes in the opener and though not needing much help in the early innings from the WC offense, got plenty of it, nonetheless. After Easley quashed a double and walk threat in the first, forcing a ground-ball out to finish the inning, Weatherford’s offense got rolling.
Leadoff hitter Bryson Myles set the tone for the game with a triple into right field. After Robert LaFrance took a fastball to the body for a free pass, right fielder Nick Lee cleared the scoreboard, and the bases, with a towering homer to right, and the Coyotes took a 3-0 lead.
WC scored three runs in each of the next two frames, with Bryce Cummings picking up a double and an RBI, while Ethan Stuckley added a pair of runs with a 2-out single in the second. Cummings added two RBIs in the third and LaFrance’s single brought Tucker Oakley home.
Four groundouts, a fly ball and a strikeout were issued by Easley in the third and fourth innings, as the right-hander settled in for the duration. Easley’s only lapse came in the fifth inning, while sporting a 10-0 lead. Beginning the inning with a walk, the next three Wranglers batters reached on singles. By the time a grounder led to the final out, Cisco had crossed the plate three times.
WC wasted little time answering with a 4-hit bottom frame. Myles hit his second extra-base shot, a double, to start the inning, scoring on Alex Hill’s single. Stuckley’s RBI single moved WC another run closer to a run-rule ending of the contest, which was accomplished in the sixth when WC’s designated hitter Jordan Ellington scored from third on a wild pick-off attempt by the Cisco catcher.
Easley finished the 5-hitter recording a handful of K’s and forcing seven ground balls in front of an errorless Coyotes defense.
A pitcher’s duel chewed up the first four innings of the second game, with WC taking the early lead when Myles scored in the first on a Cummings sacrifice fly. The Coyotes added another run in the third, when Lee’s groundout scored Myles, after the centerfielder reached scoring position with a double. Cisco’s coach wasted little time with pitcher Shane LaRonde, pulling the starter with one out in the third.
Lee pitched four shut-out frames to start the nightcap for WC, but paid for a 3-walk inning in the fifth, that eventually culminated with a grand-slam shot from Cisco’s Cory Falvey, putting the Coyotes behind to stay. While the first game came with fireworks in nearly every inning, Falvey’s homer ended the scoring for the balance of the contest, with the pitcher’s duel resuming.
Lee yielded the mound to freshman right-hander Kevin Allen in the fifth, who blanked the Wranglers through the next two innings.
Weatherford College had opportunities to add runs throughout the game, stranding a dozen runners on the basepaths. In the final frame, LaFrance reached when he was hit by a pitch, bringing the tying run to the plate for WC. After a flyout and a strikeout, Stuckley kept the inning alive with a base hit, but with two on, a ground ball back to the Cisco pitcher ended the threat.
The split results in a 13-11 NTJCAC record for the Coyotes, who are mired in the middle of the conference pack with Grayson and North Central Texas. The Coyotes will try to break free to join the front runners again on Wednesday, with a double header at Vernon College. WC is home again Saturday, hosting Temple on Free T-Shirt Day at Roger Williams Ballpark. The double header begins at 1 p.m.
Weatherford 13, Cisco 3
CJC 000 030 — 3 5 2
WC 333 121 — 13 14 0
CJC — Michael Zouzalik, Calvin Wallen (4) and Colby Braddock; WC — Josh Easley and Nick Peer.
2B — CJC: Casey Kalenkosky; WC: Bryson Myles, Chase Jensen, Bryce Cummings
3B — WC: Bryson Myles
HR — WC: Nick Lee
Cisco 4, Weatherford 2
CJC 000 040 000 — 4 4 1
WC 101 000 000 — 2 5 2
CJC — Shane LaRonde, Morgan Croft (3) and Ty Marron
WC — Nick Lee (5), Kevin Allen (8), Blake Webster (8), Cory Maltz (8) and Nick Peer.
2B — WC: Myles
HR — CJC: Falvey