The Odessa College Wranglers are still in a logjam near the top of the WJCAC baseball standings, but gained some separation from part of the pack this weekend by sweeping a four-game series from Western Texas College.
The Wranglers finished off the series Saturday by winning 15-5 and 10-7 at American Legion Park after taking both games of Friday’s doubleheader at Snyder.
That leaves Odessa College (20-15 overall, 11-5 WJCAC) in a three-way tie for second place with Clarendon College and Howard College, two games back of leader Midland College and a game ahead of New Mexico Junior College and New Mexico Military Institute.
“Every game was big this weekend,” Wranglers coach Kurtis Lay said. “We realize these next three weeks are all going to be massive weeks. We’re here in the middle of the season and everyone’s still kind of jumbled up. It was great to go out (and win four games).”
Robert Morales drove in six runs in Saturday’s games, going 4 for 7 with a double, while Tresten Kennard homered in each game and finished 6 for 8 with five RBIs. Kennard hit three home runs in the series.
Mason McLenna homered and joined Morales in driving in five runs in the opener. Harry Fullerton was 4 for 7 with four RBIs and Deylan Moreno went 5 for 6 with two RBIs after entering the first game as a pinch runner.
In both games, Odessa College jumped out to early leads and continued to score runs. The Wranglers put up five runs in each of the first two games of the opener and led 13-4 after three innings. In the nightcap, Odessa College took the lead for good in the third inning and led 7-2 after a four-run fifth.
“The majority of the year, I feel like we’ve been playing on our heels,” Lay said. “The other teams have scored first and it kind of takes away some of the aggression. It almost makes us passive offensively and even intimidated from the defensive standpoint.
“This past week, we talked about throwing the first punch. Let’s go get somebody else on their heels. Let’s take the attack, let’s take the fight to them. We were fortunate today to get up in both games.”
On the mound, Josef Cihlar (2-0) got the win in the first game with 2.1 innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits. Game 2 starter John Bridgeman (4-0) went 6.2 innings, striking out five and giving up just two earned runs. Eric Ogletree finished up for his first save.
“John did a great job,” Lay said. “Cihlar came in and him and J.J. (Irvin-Lundquist) bounced back from (after both pitched Friday) in the first game. Eric was kind of overcoming some stomach bug-type stuff. I couldn’t be prouder of the way we threw the baseball this weekend.”
In the opener, Kennard and McLenna homered and Morales doubled in two runs to get things started. In the second, McLenna singled in a run and Morales added a two run single, then Fullerton, McLenna and Moreno delivered consecutive two-out, RBI singles in the third.
“Everybody has their day,” said McLenna, who was 3 for 4 in the opener. “(Friday), I kind of had a rough day and came out and had a good start today. The second game was a little rough again, too. We’re trying to win ballgames and doing everything we can each game.”
The Wranglers ended the game in the sixth inning on Morales’ sacrifice fly.
Obi Obinwa, who was 2 for 4, and Marcel Lacasse each homered for Western Texas (11-19, 6-10).
In the second game, McKenna’s homer gave Odessa College an early lead, but the Westerners went up 2-1 in the third on a two-run single by Lacasse, who went 2 for 5 with five RBIs. The Wranglers regained the lead on Kennard’s two-run single in the bottom of the inning, then went up 7-2 in the fifth as Kennard and Moreno sandwiched RBI singles around Fullerton’s two-run double.
Lacasse doubled in two runs in the seventh as Western Texas closed the gap to 7-5 before Ogletree ended the rally.
Western………….. 013 100 — 5 9 4
Odessa……………. 553 011 — 15 17 1
Dillon Delgadillo, Zach Carrion (2), Ian Gleason (5) and James Tutor, Marcel Lacasse (6). Joe Dalmolin, Josef Cihlar (3), J.J. Irvin-Lundquist (6) and Mitch Holding, Cal Pequeno (6). W — Cihlar (2-0). L — Delgadillo (1-3). 2B — Odessa College: Robert Morales. HR — Western Texas College: Lacasse (2), Obi Obinwa (4); Odessa College: Tresten Kennard (8), Mason McLenna (3).
Western…….. 002 000 302 — 7 14 0
Odessa………. 102 040 21x — 10 15 1
Bryce Faust, Brendon King (5), Ian Gleason (6), Justin Rumle (7) and Marcel Lacasse. John Bridgeman, Eric Ogletree (7) and Mitch Holding. W — Bridgeman (4-0). L — Faust (3-1). Sv — Ogletree (1). 2B — Western Texas: Anthony Handel, Lacasse; Odessa College: Holding, Tresten Kennard, Harry Fullerton. 3B — Odessa College: Chance Medina. HR — Odessa College: Kennard (9).
Records — Western Texas College 11-19 overall, 6-10 WJCAC; Odessa College 20-15, 11-5.
Team W L W L
Midland College………….. 21 11 13 3
Clarendon College………. 21 10 11 5
Howard College…………… 19 12 11 5
Odessa College………….. 20 15 11 5
New Mexico JC……………. 22 10 10 6
New Mexico Military Inst. 22 14 10 6
Frank Phillips College…… 12 22 7 9
Western Texas College… 11 19 6 10
El Paso Community Coll… 5 31 1 15
Luna Community College. 6 28 0 16
Odessa College 7, Western Texas College 5
Odessa College 8, Western Texas College 6
Clarendon College 21, El Paso Community College 1
Clarendon College 13, El Paso Community College 4
Howard College 12, Frank Phillips College 0
Frank Phillips College 6, Howard College 5
New Mexico Junior College 19, Midland College 6
Midland College 9, New Mexico Junior College 8
New Mexico Military Institute 15, Luna Community College 3
New Mexico Military Institute 22, Luna Co
mmunity College 9
Odessa College 15, Western Texas College 5
Odessa College 10, Western Texas College 7
Clarendon College 9, El Paso Community College 0
Clarendon College 16, El Paso Community College 2
Howard College 22, Frank Phillips College 4
Howard College 14, Frank Phillips College 5
New Mexico Military Institute 9, Luna Community College 4
New Mexico Military Institute 12, Luna Community College 1
New Mexico Junior College at Midland College, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6
Frank Phillips College at Odessa College (DH), noon
Howard College at Western Texas College (DH), noon
Luna Community College at Clarendon College (DH), 1 p.m.
Midland College at El Paso Community College (DH), 1 p.m.
New Mexico Military Institute at New Mexico Junior College (DH), 1 p.m.