Wildcats Sweep Dixie StatePosted: Updated:
ELLENSBURG, Wash - Central Washington University used six multiple-run innings over two games Sunday en route to a doubleheader sweep of visiting Dixie State College of Utah in non-conference baseball action at Tomlinson Field. The Wildcats took the opener, 12-5, before winning the nightcap, 10-7.
With Sunday's sweep, Central (22-14) completed a three-game weekend series sweep of the Rebels and won the season series between the two schools, 4-3. Dixie State, in its second year as a four-year institution and provisional Division II program, fell to 21-19.
In the opener, senior right-hander Tyler Levin (Everett, Wash.) allowed just an unearned run over seven innings of work, striking out six to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Wildcats gave Levin plenty of support, scoring three unearned runs in the bottom of the second and adding four more tallies in the bottom of the sixth.
Two Dixie State errors were converted into three runs in the second, as Jamie Nilsen (Federal Way, Wash./Thomas Jefferson HS) had the only Wildcat hit in the inning -- a two-out, two-run single. Central scored its four runs in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead powered by four hits, including a RBI single by Tyler Scoggin (Olympia, Wash./North Thurston HS) and a two-run double by Nate Rylaarsdam (Mount Vernon, Wash.).
Central capped its scoring in game one with a five-run eighth, highlighted by sophomore Kevin Walkenhauer's (Yakima, Wash./West Valley HS) first career grand slam over the left-field fence that, at the time, made it an 11-3 contest. Nilsen then came through with a RBI double -- his fourth RBI of the game. Dixie State scored twice in the ninth on a double by Kyle Pratt against reliever Travis Bertholf (Spokane, Wash./John R. Rogers HS).
The Wildcats' 13-hit attack in game one was paced by two hits apiece from five players. Nilsen and Walkenhauer each drove in four. Dixie State, which managed 11 hits against three CWU pitchers, was led by a four-for-five outing from Pratt.
In game two, a three-run third and six-run fourth propelled Central Washington to a 10-7 victory. The Wildcats led 10-2 entering the final inning, when Dixie State scored five runs to make it a respectable three-run margin.
Central fell behind in the nightcap, as the visiting Rebels scored in the top of the first inning for their only lead of the three-game series. The Wildcats got on the scoreboard two innings later, capitalizing on two hits, three consecutive hit batsmen, and a walk for three tallies. Nilsen drove in the tying run after being hit by a pitch, and Rylaarsdam gave CWU the lead two batters later on a sacrifice fly. Frank Donangelo (Monterey, Calif./Palma HS) also plated a run with a RBI single.
After Dixie State scored once in the top of the fourth, the Wildcats seemingly put the game out of reach with six runs against a pair of relievers in the bottom of the inning. Wildness by Rebel pitchers accounted for three of the Wildcats' first four baserunners in the inning, and Donangelo picked up the offense with a two-run single. Then, after a wild pitch advanced runners one more base including Rylaarsdam to home plate, senior Hank Anderson (Spokane, Wash./Joel E. Ferris HS) crushed his team-leading sixth home run of the season to left-center field to make it a 9-2 margin.
The Wildcats scored one final time in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by A.J. Gosney (Veradale, Wash./Central Valley HS).
Dixie State made the game interesting in the final inning, scoring five times against winning pitcher Jordan Moore (Nine Mile Falls, Wash./Lakeside HS). The Rebels scored their first run of the inning on a Pratt single before adding two runs each on a single by Tim Mott and a home run by Jimmy Dever. Moore then induced a pair of fly outs to end the game and preserve the victory.
Moore picked up the win (3-3), pitching the final 3 1/3 innings in relief of starter Michael McCanna (Addy, Wash./Jenkins HS). Alex Hesterly, the second of five Dixie State pitchers, took the loss after surrendering Central's three third-inning runs.
Offensively, Nilsen, Donangelo, and Scoggin had two hits apiece, with Scoggin reaching safely in all four of his plate appearances and scoring three runs.
Dixie State had two-hit games from Pratt and Mickelson, finishing with 10 hits.
Central Washington returns to Great Northwest Athletic Conference action this coming week with five games scheduled against Saint Martin's University. The Wildcats are tentatively slated to head to Lacey for a single game on Wednesday (Apr. 23) with the Saints (time TBA) before the regularly-scheduled home-and-home weekend series between the two teams on Saturday (Apr. 26) and Sunday (Apr. 27). Central will host Saint Martin's on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.