The Odessa College baseball team couldn’t open its four-game series with Howard College on the right foot.
The Hawks earned a sweep of a Western Junior College Athletic Conference doubleheader with a 10-4 victory in Game 1 before holding on, 3-2, in Game 2 Friday at Odessa High’s Pressly Field.
Weather issues forced the move from Wrangler Field, which has natural grass.
“Coach [Josh] Hulin and Odessa High were gracious enough to accommodate us,” Odessa College head coach Kurtis Lay said. “With the amount of rain that we got on our field, there’s no chance it was playable.”
The Wranglers (17-23 overall, 10-12 WJCAC) found themselves down early in the first game.
A sacrifice fly from Kebler Peralta drove in Bernard Shivers to give Howard College a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Lennin Ashby got the offense going for the Wranglers in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to left field, tying things up at 1-1. That score held up until the next inning when Peralta and Kevin Ortiz scored to give the Hawks a 3-1 advantage.
Tyson Pointer tripled on his first at bat to set up an Odessa College scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fourth, scoring on a sacrifice fly shortly after to cut the Howard lead to 3-2.
Broch Holmes started a dominant stretch for the Hawks (36-10, 19-3) with a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning and then Howard College took advantage of some mistakes in the sixth inning to break the game open.
Howard College had the bases loaded when a wild pitch gave Justin Wishkoski the chance to score. Hunter Simmons then reached home on a passed ball to give the Hawks a 7-2 lead.
Holmes closed out the top of the sixth scoring on another passed ball to put Howard College up 8-2.
The Hawks added two more runs in the seventh inning before the Wranglers got the offense going in the bottom of the frame.
Odessa College had the bases loaded when an RBI single from Daniel Monti made the score 10-3. Sebastian Melendez followed that up with a score of his own after Ashby was hit by a pitch, but it wasn’t enough for the Wranglers.
Chandler David pitched five innings for Odessa College, allowing nine hits with three strikeouts. Ashby led the Wranglers with two RBIs.
Simmons, Holmes and Charles Defiglia each had two RBIs for the Hawks.
The second game had a similar start to the first, as Odessa College found itself down early.
Mason McLeod got things started for the Hawks with an RBI single to right field in the top of the second. Simmons added another run in the third inning to put Howard College up 2-0.
Wishkoski singled to center field in the top of the fourth to put the Hawks up by three runs.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the inning that Isaac Rivera got things going offensively for the Wranglers, putting Odessa College on the board with a home run to right field, cutting the score to 3-1.
Sean Stephens cut the game even closer with a homer of his own in the seventh, narrowing the deficit to 3-2.
That was all the scoring Howard College needed, or would allow, the rest of the way.
Marshall Wales pitched six innings for the Wranglers, recording five strikeouts. Ethan Coombes pitched five innings for the Hawks, allowing three hits and one run.
Lay said his team found ways to stay in its second ballgame, but the focus will be to come out with victories to close out the regular season.
“It was good to see that our pitching was able to execute pitches when we needed to and defensively we were able to make plays,” Lay said. “We just got to find a way to get some wins, we got to find a way to win game one tomorrow.”
The Wranglers and Hawks will end their regular seasons with a doubleheader Saturday at Pressly Field.
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Howard College 10-3, Odessa College 4-2
Howard………. 010 223 2 — 10 12 0
Odessa………. 001 100 2 — 4 9 1
Kristopher Anglin and Kevin Ortiz. Chandler David, Randall Blanscett, Noah Brown (7) and Jake Gonce. W — Anglin. L — David. 2B — Odessa College: Sean Stephens. 3B — Odessa College: Tyson Pointer. HR — Howard College: Broch Holmes.
Howard………. 011 100 000 — 3 11 0
Odessa………. 000 100 100 — 2 6 0
Ethan Coombes, Dustin Sprong (6), Hunter Rosenbaum (8) and Mason McLeod. Marshall Wales, Brady Loving (7) and Tyson Pointer. W — Coombes. L — Wales. 2B — Odessa College: Pointer. Howard College: Wilson Galvan, Bernard Shivers. HR — Odessa College: Isaac Rivera, Sean Stephens.
Records — Howard College: 36-10 overall, 19-3 WJCAC; Odessa College: 17-23, 10-12.