Chasing their 14th consecutive MonDak Conference title, the Miles Community College Pioneer baseball team pulled out a split with Williston State College on the weekend, the conference openers for both schools.
The Tetons were expected to be the top competition for the MonDak crown this year, and showed it in the first two games on Saturday in Williston. Williston State won 5-3 and 7-4 on Saturday. The Pioneers answered with a pair of wins, 10-0 and 7-4, on Sunday at Connors Stadium.
The split moves the Pioneers to 15-7-1 overall on the year and 2-2 in the MonDak conference.
MCC will be at home three times this week. On Thursday the Pioneers will host the College of Eastern Utah in a double header starting at 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the Pioneers will host Dakota College at Bottineau in a pair of MonDak double headers starting at 1 and 12 p.m. respectively.
WSC 5, MCC 3
Williston took an early 2-0 lead after the first inning, and a lackluster Pioneer offense didn’t get going until the final two innings.
By the time the MCC offense got rolling, Williston held a 5-0 lead. MCC scored twice in the top of the sixth, one on a Brayden Matheson double and then Michael Gahan came through with an RBI single.
In the top of the seventh, the Pioneers loaded the bases with no outs, but managed just one run in the inning.
Myles Wesener and Cayden Napierala each had two hits for the Pioneers, who had nine hits as a team.
Riley Horn took the loss on the mound, going four and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
WSC 7, MCC 4
The Tetons broke open a close game with five unanswered runs to take the second game on Saturday.
Going into the fifth, the score was knotted at five. Zach Cortese broke the tie with a double, scoring courtesy runner Lorenzo Webb.
Williston answered with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and then scored three more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Again, the Pioneers had their chances in the seventh.
Alan Ibanes led off with a double and two batters later, Napierala singled. Matheson then came through with a double to score Ibanes and move Napierala to third.
But a strike out and a fly out to shortstop ended the threat.
Zach Cortese hada big game at the plate, going 3-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and two doubles. Matheson went 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
Dakota Cortese took the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits. He did strike out seven in five and two-thirds innings of work.
MCC 10, WSC 0
The Pioneers continued to hit the ball well and Michael Gahan gave them an outstanding performance on the mound to get the Pioneers back in the win column.
After smacking nine hits in each of the two games on Saturday, the Pioneers had 13 in the mercy-rule shortened game.
The Pioneers led 2-0 going into the fifth, those runs coming on back-to-back RBI singles from Ibanes and Wesener in the second.
In the fifth, the Pioneers sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on five hits. They took advantage of four walks, including two with the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pioneers ended the game early with an RBI single from Ibanes.
Wesener had a big game from the leadoff position. The sophomore went 4-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Matheson, Zach Cortese, Dillon Peterson and Ibanes each went 2-3. Ibanes had three RBIs and Matheson knocked in two.
While the offense was doing their job, Gahan was busy shutting the Tetons down on the mound.
Gahan allowed just two hits, one walk and hit batter in his six innings of work. No Teton base runner reached third base in the game. Gahan struck out three and was aided by a Pioneer defense that committed no errors.
MCC 7, WSC 4
The Pioneers scored all seven of their runs in the first two innings, while Brad Rook and Austin Tennant kept the Teton bats quiet.
Rook threw the first five innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked three.
The Tetons took an early 2-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Pioneers came through with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take control of the game.
Wesener led off with a triple and then scored on a Teton error. That error helped keep the inning alive, allowing the Pioneers to add three more runs. All four runs in the first were unearned.
The Pioneers earned each of the three runs in the second inning. Ibanes led off with a double and Wesener singled. Matheson drove in Ibanes with a sacrifice fly and then Zach Cortese hammered a ball into the football bleachers in left-center field to give the Pioneers a 7-2 lead.
Williston scored single runs in each the fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead to 7-4, but Tennant held them scoreless in the final two innings to preserve the win.
Wesener continued his torrid weekend, going 3-4 with a triple and two runs scored. Peters on was 2-3 with an RBI, while Cortese drove in two.
Williston 5, Miles 3
MCC 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 - 3 9 1
WSC 2 0 0 1 2 0 x - 5 9 1
Miles (13-6-1, 0-1)- M. Wesener 2-4; C. Napierala 2-3, run; B. Matheson 1-4, RBI; Z. Cortese 0-4, RBI; A. Scott 1-3; D. Peterson 1-3; M. Gahan 1-3, RBI; B. Kemp 0-3; A. Ibanes 1-2, run; L. Webb 0-0, run.
2B- Matheson, Scott. 3B- none. HR- none.
Williston (4-11-1, 1-0)- Gomez 0-4, run; Benson 2-3, run, RBI; Adams 1-3; Burrola 2-3, run, RBI; Myers 1-3, RBI; Kinkade 0-2, run; Lacroix 0-2; Powis 2-3; Wiwchard 1-3, run, RBI.
2B- Benson. 3B- none. HR- none.
Miles- R. Horn (L) 4.2 IP, 5 runs, 2 earned, 8 hits, 6 strike outs, 1 walk; Z. Horton 1.1 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 strike out, 0 walks.
Williston- Benett (W) 5 IP, 0 runs, 4 hits, 5 strike outs, 1 walk; Sylvester 1 IP, 2 runs, 2 earned, 2 hits, 2 strike outs, 2 walks; Lacroix 1 IP, 1 run, unearned, 3 hits, 1 strike out, 0 walks.
Williston 7, Miles 4
MCC 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 - 4 9 2
WSC 0 1 0 1 2 3 x - 7 9 0
Miles (13-7-1, 0-2)- M. Wesener 0-4; C. Napierala 1-3; B. Matheson 2-4, RBI; Z. Cortese 3-4, 2 runs, RBI; A. Scott 0-3; D. Peterson 1-3; M. Gahan 1-2, 2 RBI; B. Kemp 0-3; A. Ibanes 1-3, run; L. Webb 0-0, run.
2B- Ibanes, Matheson, Cortese (2), Gahan. 3B- none. HR- none.
Williston (5-11-1, 2-0)- Benson 2-4, run, RBI; Wiwchar 1-3, 2 RBI; Adams 1-4, run; Myers 1-3, run, 2 RBI; Gibson 0-2, run; Burrola 1-3; Kinkade 2-3, 2 runs; Powis 1-2, RBI; Gomez 0-3, run.
2B- Benson, Kinkade, Powis. 3B- none. HR- Myers.
Miles- D. Cortese (L) 5.2 IP, 7 runs, 6 earned, 8 hits, 7 strike outs, 4 walks; T. Roberts .1 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 strike outs, 0 walks.
Williston- Gibbard (W) 6 IP, 3 runs, 3 earned, 6 hits, 6 strike outs, 2 walks; Lacroix 1 IP, 1 run, earned, 3 hits, 2 strike outs, 0 walks.
Miles 10, Williston 0
WSC 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 2 0
MCC 0 2 0 0 7 1 - 10 13 0
Miles (14-7-1, 1-2)- M. Wesener 4-4, run, 2 RBI; C. Napierala 1-4, RBI; B. Matheson 2-3, 2 RBI; Z. Cortese 2-3, run; A. Scott 0-3, run; D. Peterson 2-3, 3 runs, RBI; T. Reitz 0-1, run; B. Kemp 0-2, run, RBI; A. Ibanes 2-3, run, 3 RBI; S. O’Connell 0-0, run.
2B- Matheson, Peterson, Cortese. 3B- none. HR- none.
Williston (5-12-1, 2-1)- Gomez 1-2; Benson 0-3; Wiwchar 0-3; Adams 0-2; Myers 0-1; Burrola 1-2; Kinkade 0-2; Lacroix 0-2; Powis 0-2.
2B- none. 3B- none. HR- none.
Miles- M. Gahan (W) 6 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 3 strike outs, 1 walk, 1 hit batter.
Williston- Bolatas (L) 2 runs, 2 earned, 7 hits, 1 strike out, 3 walks; Knotts .1 IP, 5 runs, 5 earned, 2 hits, 1 strike out, 3 walks; Wagner 1 IP, 3 runs, 3 earned, 4 hits, 0 strike outs, 3 walks.
Miles 7, Williston 4
WSC 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 - 4 7 3
MCC 4 3 0 0 0 0 x - 7 9 0
Miles (15-7-1, 2-2)- M. Wesener 3-4, 2 runs; C. Napierala 0-3; B. Matheson 0-4, RBI; Z. Cortese 1-3, run, 2 RBI; A. Scott 1-3, run; D. Peterson 2-3, run, RBI; M. Gahan 1-3, 2 RBI; B. Kemp 0-3; A. Ibanes 1-2, run; T. Reitz 0-0, run.
2B- Ibanes. 3B- Wesener. HR- Cortese.
Williston (5-13-1, 2-2)- Gomez 2-4, run; Benson 0-2, run; Wiwchar 2-2, run; Myers 0-3, RBI; Burrola 24, run, 2 RBI; Diaz 0-4; Gibson 0-2; Adams 1-1; Powis 0-3.
2B- Burrola. 3B- Burrola. HR- none.
Miles- B. Rook (W) 5 IP, 4 runs, 3 earned, 5 hits, 4 strike outs, 3 walks, 1 hit batter; A. Tennant 2 IP, 0 runs, 0 earned, 2 hits, 1 strike out, 2 walks, 1 hit batter.
Williston- Ogolin (L) 7 runs, 0 earned, 8 hits, 0 strike outs, 1 walk; Bullock 4 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 4 strike outs, 1 walk, 2 hit batters.