Baseball

Pioneers Drop First Conference Games of the Season in Otero

Box Score

(La Junta, CO) The Miles Community College Pioneers opened up their Region IX season on Friday with a doubleheader against the Otero Community College Rattlers.

Miles jumps into their conference schedule after a slate of nine games in Tuscon, AZ over the last week. The Pioneers went 6-3 at the Tuscon Invitational Games and come into the weekend just one game under .500 at 6-7.

“We are confident heading into the weekend. We pitched well and are starting to see results at the plate in Tuscon. The competition level will go up considerably this weekend, and we know that, but we are confident our guys will adjust pitch to pitch and game to game,” said assistant coach Jake Mills.

GAME 1

Shane Groth got the Friday start for the Pioneers in game 1 and put together a great outing. Groth would toss the complete game throwing six innings giving up just two earned runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Groth would struggle with command early and some timely hits from Otero would score three runs early in the first two innings. Groth would eventually settle in and toss four consecutive scoreless innings.

Two runs were enough for the Rattlers in the first game. MCC couldn’t muster much offense in the first game as OCC starter Carlos Ramirez would toss six strong innings giving up just two hits while striking out seven Pioneers.

MCC only run came in the top half of the sixth inning. Vinny Smith would wear a pitch with one out and Sam Haug would battle through an eight pitch at bat to draw a walk. After a Braxton Boyle line out to short, and a single through the six hole from TJ Booth, Porter Marley drew a bases loaded walk to plate Smith for the lone Pioneer run.

Ramirez would silence the threat in the sixth and Otero closer Lane Grieman would throw a clean seventh inning to close the door on any hopes of a comeback and the Pioneers would drop game one 3-1.

GAME 2

MCC would strike first in game two after Nolan Darr and Rocco Arguto would string together singles with one out. Dustin Caplett would step to the plate and sneak a ball through the infield to plate Darr to put the Pioneers up 1-0. Freshman Vinny Smith would get robbed of a would be RBI single with two outs by a leaping catch from Otero’s first baseman Alex Schaneman to thwart any more damage in the second inning.

Frehsman Mitch Hughson would get the nod for game two and would put together another solid outing for the Pioneers. The Australian right hander would throw 5.2 Innings for the Pioneers giving up four runs on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Hughson’s stellar outing would be matched by Rattler starter Sergio Lucero. Lucero would scatter eight hits and surrender just one run in his start earning the win for Otero. Reliever David Tongue would take the hill in the fifth and give up just one hits through the last 2.2 innings of the game earning the save.

Despite a strong offensive showing from MCC tallying nine hits in the ballgame, the Pioneers couldn’t find the timely hit to break the game open. With seven runners on base the Pioneers had chances but would eventually fall 4-1.

MCC Braxton Boyle and Ty Jones would lead the offensive charge for the Pioneers with two hits each including a leadoff double by Jones in the fourth inning. Dustin Caplett would have the only RBI in game 2 for the Pioneers.

Coach Brabant on games 1 and 2 of the six game set:

“I don’t think we did a very good job competing today at the plate. Mitch and Shane were great on the mound and did enough to give us a chance in the late innings but we couldn’t get it done. We need to do a better job making adjustments pitch to pitch, especially in close games early in the season. Tomorrow will be a new day but if we don’t make the necessary adjustments at the plate, the results aren’t going to change.”

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