May 17, 2012

Sophomore Fires 153 Pitches in Complete-Game Effort

Woeck Leads WNC to Win in District Opener

Andrew Woeck
Andrew Woeck

Andrew Woeck didn't have a pitch count in Western Nevada College's opening game of the National Junior College Athletic Association Western District baseball tournament on Thursday night.

Woeck made 153 pitches in tossing a complete game to lead the Wildcats to a 9-3 victory over Central Arizona in West Jordan, Utah.

"He wouldn't let us take him out," said WNC Coach D.J. Whittemore. "We've taken good care of him for two straight years, and he's fresh."

The Wildcats (45-15) will play Salt Lake at 2 p.m. (PST) Friday in a winners' bracket matchup. Salt Lake defeated Lamar, Colo., 8-0, on Thursday.

Woeck threw 138 pitches through eight innings, but he wasn't done. The sophomore struck out the first two batters in the ninth inning, then got the final out on a ground ball.

"His stuff was every bit as good in that last inning. This is something he's used to doing, pitching deep into games," Whittemore said. "He's a big-game pitcher, and he put us on his back tonight."

Woeck finished with eight strikeouts and two walks in earning his eighth victory of the season.
It was WNC's fourth victory over the Region I champs in five tries this season.

Derrick Pitts and Dillon Ness each knocked in two runs. Pitts sparked the Wildcats' 12-hit attack by going 3-4. Chris Woolley was 2-3 with two runs scored and Taylor Smart contributed two hits and scored four runs.

"To get a complete effort out of the guys is really special," Whittemore said. "Central Arizona is such a great team."

Western Nevada broke open a one-run game by scoring three times in the seventh and two more in the eighth. Central Arizona led 3-2 after four innings.

Central Arizona took a 1-0 led in the first inning on Fernando Perez's RBI single to right center.

WNC got on the board in the third inning as Central Arizona paid dearly for a pair of walks to open the frame. Woolley's sacrifice bunt moved Neil Lawhorn and Smart into scoring position, then Mike Umscheid's groundout to first scored Lawhorn to tie the score. Next, Pitts' base hit plated Smart to move WNC ahead 2-1.

The Vaqueros retook the lead 3-2 in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out. Woeck minimized the damage with a strikeout, fly out and groundout. Parker Osborne's run-scoring single and Jorge Flores' sacrifice fly enabled the Vaqueros to score twice.

WNC fought back in the fifth inning, plating two unearned runs on a wild pitch and catcher's error.
With the Wildcats now leading, Woeck became dialed in on the mound, retiring 11 Vaqueros in a row at one point.

The Wildcats scored three runs in the seventh inning to up their lead to 7-3. Smart started the rally with a base hit and was sacrificed to second by Woolley. Umscheid and Pitts walked to fill the bases. Brandon Zywicki uncorked a wild pitch to score Smart, and Zach Hendrix was hit by a pitch to refill the bases. The rally stalled briefly until Ness greeted reliever Jake Andrews with a base hit to left field, scoring Umscheid and Pitts.

WNC added two more runs in the eighth on Woolley's RBI single and Pitts' run-scoring double.

On Friday, Western Nevada and Salt Lake will meet for the ninth time this season. The Bruins hold a 5-3 series edge, with five of the games having been decided by one run.


Photo Gallery
Photos (Click to Enlarge)
Andrew Woeck fires one of his 153 pitches against Central Arizona on Thursday at the Western… Torn and dirt pants came with territory on Thursday night as Western Nevada College defeated… High-fives
Andrew Woeck fires one of his 153 pitches against Central Arizona on Thursday at the Western District baseball tournament in West Jordan, Utah.Torn and dirt pants came with territory on Thursday night as Western Nevada College defeated Central Arizona 9-3 at the Western District baseball tournament.High-fives
Taylor Smart with Coach DJ Whittemore at first base. Taylor Smart  
Taylor Smart with Coach DJ Whittemore at first base.Taylor Smart  
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