MCC Baseball knocks down division leaders SECC, 11-1
The McCook Community College baseball team made quick work of Southeast Community College Wednesday in what was supposed to be a nine-inning game. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule.
“I felt like we really put a complete game together today, we came out and executed offensively, did what we needed to when it was presented to us, and we defended the field,” said MCC Coach Jon Olsen.
MCC starting pitcher Ethan Fritz (freshman, Bellevue, Neb.) faced just 16 batters and threw 48 pitches in the complete-game win. He threw 37 pitches for strikes and allowed two hits.
“It’s hard to say enough about the job Ethan Fritz did, that’s three really good starts for him in a row at home, three complete games in a row,” Olsen said.
Wednesday’s Empire League win came on the heels of the announcement that one player on the team has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association player of the week. After being named Region IX player of the week on Tuesday, sophomore Ricardo Hernandez (Ponce, Puerto Rico) was named the NJCAA national player of the week on Wednesday.
It was a slow start offensively against Southeast as MCC’s lineup went out in order in the first inning. The Indians responded by sending nine batters to the plate in the second inning scoring five run, added two in the third and four in the fourth inning capped by a three-run home run by freshman Zach Beatty (Maple Park, Ill.), his 12th homer of the year, tied for 10th in the nation.
Sophomore Kade Wroot (North Platte) got the offense rolling in the second inning with a leadoff double. Wroot is batting .368 on the season and his 13 home runs are seventh most in the nation. After a Beatty walk, freshman Jordan DeMarce (Las Vegas, Nevada) singled home Wroot. Benny Brockmoller (freshman, North Platte) grounded to third base but Beatty was able to beat the throw home to give MCC a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Elijah Munoz, sophomore (Big Spring, Texas), singled home DeMarce. A Storm error led to the fourth run of the inning and freshman Daniel Bannon (Sydney, Australia) hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give MCC a 5-0 lead. Bannon, who leads MCC in hitting (.453 which ranks 21st in NJCAA) has nine home runs on the year.
Fritz held serve for MCC with a 10-pitch third inning, which included two strikeouts.
Doubles by Beatty and DeMarce in the bottom of the inning put MCC up 6-0. DeMarce scored on an RBI single by Munoz to make it a 7-0 game.
Bannon led off the MCC fourth with a walk, went to third on a double off the bat of Ricardo Hernandez. Wroot singled Bannon home to set the stage for Beatty’s three-run homer to leftfield to put MCC up 11-0.
After homering in four straight games on the way to being named JUCO national player of the week, batting .731 with five homers, four doubles, 10 RBIs and 30 total bases, Hernadez has gone two-for-five this week with a double and an RBI.
Southeast scored its only run of the game in the fifth on a triple and an infield groundout.
The Storm came into the game as the leaders in the south division of the Empire League (Region IX) and fall to 13-5 (19-11 overall).
MCC (23-18) gains one game in the standings with a 14-9 mark just a game and a half back of SECC. The Indians move into second place, a half-game ahead of Northeastern Junior College (13-9)
These two teams area right back at it with a three-game series this weekend in Beatrice with one game Saturday and a Sunday doubleheader.
“Southeast has a really nice team and we’ll be in for a good series this weekend but we are really looking forward to going out there and playing,” Olsen said.
For more photos from today’s game please visit the McCook Community College Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook