MCC Baseball sweeps Rattlers Saturday; win series 3-1

The McCook Community College baseball team took a pair of games against Otero Junior College Saturday to take the series three games to one. MCC won Saturday 7-3, 10-0.

“It was good to go out and win the series today,” said MCC Coach Jon Olsen.

Starting pitcher Arjun Huerta, (freshman, Willemstad, Curacao) struck out 11 Rattlers in a Game 1 win and Ethan Fritz (freshman, Bellevue, Neb.) tossed a one-hit, five-inning shutout in Game 2 with the Tribe knocking five extra-base hits including three homers.

“Today we got two really good pitching performances, and got the bats going a little bit, it was a long stretch of games this week and it was good to close it out with two wins today,” Olsen said. “We had a lot of guys step up this weekend, had a tough couple injuries but that’s part of it, be good to have Easter off and get back to work Monday, still have a good stretch of important games in April.”

On Friday, MCC came from a five-run deficit to down the Rattlers 9-8 in eight innings on a walk off, before OCJ won the second game 10-8.

“Yesterday was a fun walk off in Game 1,” Olsen said. “We battled back great and had three great innings out of the pen to give our offense a chance.”

Otero falls to 9-25 on the season and 5-17 in Empire League Play (Region IX).

The Indians go to 19-16 and 11-8 in the Empire League standings.

MCC travels to Scottsbluff Saturday and Sunday for an Empire League south division series with Western Nebraska. The teams pair off at 1 p.m. (MT) Saturday for a nine-inning game and play two games Sunday starting at 1 p.m. (MT).

GAME 1 – MCC 7, Otero Junior College 3: The Indians broke open a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with five runs.

After a pair of walks to lead off the fourth inning, freshman Matt Hamilton (freshman, Aurora, Colo.) put MCC on the scoreboard with an RBI single. Ryan Nourse (second-year sophomore, Centennial, Colo.) followed with a double to make it a 2-0 game. An RBI-groundout with Jordan DeMarce, (Jordan Demarce, freshman (Las Vegas, Nevada) drove in the third run of the inning. The fourth scored on a wild pitch and Ricardo Hernandez (sophomore, Ponce, Puerto Rico) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put MCC up 5-0.

Arjun Huerta, freshman (Willemstad, Curacao) started on the mound and kept OJC scoreless until the Rattlers struck for a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. He allowed three hits, two walks and struck out 11 to pick up the win.

A bases-loaded walk and hit by pitch in the MCC sixth made it a 6-1 Indian lead.

Daniel Bannon (freshman, Sydney, Australia) led MCC with a pair of hits. MCC was held to five but took advantage of seven walks.

GAME 1 – MCC 10, Otero Junior College 0: An error and a double by Ricardo Hernandez set up an RBI-groundout from Zack Beatty (freshman, Maple Park, Ill.) to give MCC a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

MCC broke up the game with five runs in the third inning. Daniel Bannon doubled to lead off the third inning. Hernandez doubled in Bannon, Beatty followed with an RBI-single and then Ryan Nourse ripped a home run to left field to put the Indians up 6-0.

Bannon led off the fourth with a solo dinger and sophomore Caleb Eiguren, (Broomfield, Colo.) later singled in the eighth run of the game.

Ethan Fritz went five innings, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three to pick up the win.

North Platte sophomore Kade Wroot ended the game with a two-run home run in the fifth.

MCC had 11 hits with two each from Bannon, Wroot, Hernandez and Beatty.