COLLEGE BASEBALL: No. 2 Odessa College drops nonconference contest with Midland College

MIDLAND During the first nonconference meeting between the Odessa College and Midland College baseball teams, they combined for 29 runs on 31 hits.

However, under the lights on a cool Wednesday evening at Christensen Stadium, the Wranglers and Chaparrals stayed relatively quiet.

Midland College was kept scoreless in its first three trips to the plate, but the team eventually capitalized on multiple Odessa College errors en route to an 11-2 nonconference victory.

“We didn’t take care of the baseball,” Odessa College head coach Kurtis Lay said. “We had five errors and four walks. We made a mistake and they came back and executed on top of our mistake.”

The Wranglers (26-4) scored the first run of the contest on an RBI single from Angel Torres in the top of the first inning. Odessa College scored its second and final run on a Connor Queen RBI double in the sixth inning. Cal Pequeno and Queen were the only Wranglers with multiple hits — each finished with two.

Aside from the two innings they scored, the Wranglers mustered five hits in seven innings. Lay said it was tough to string hits together against any of the five Midland College pitchers that the Wranglers faced.

“We had runners with leadoff doubles and we did handle the bat well enough to get those runs in,” Lay said. “Realistically, in the fourth and fifth inning, we should have had three or four runs on the scoreboard, but instead we leave the leadoff runners stranded.”

The Chaparrals (21-8) squandered an opportunity with a bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, but they didn’t miss many more chances with runners in scoring position.

Midland College scored at least one run in the final five innings. The team held a 3-2 lead, but that advantage quickly expanded with a five-run sixth inning. The Chaparrals scored five runs on two hits, while Odessa College committed four errors.

“(Odessa College) did a good job of not letting anything happen in that first inning,” Midland College head coach David Coleman said. “We kept getting base runners on and then we got some big hits behind it.”

The nonconference contest saw a total of 13 pitchers — eight from Odessa College and five from Midland College.

Coleman was pleased with the outing from all five pitchers, especially from starter Aaron Weseman, who allowed one run on four hits and struck out four in four innings. Nick Solis picked up the win after he pitched a scoreless fifth inning.

The only pitcher to see multiple innings for the Wranglers was Wellington Belen, who recorded the final out of the fourth inning and allowed one run in the fifth frame. Max Barrett suffered the loss after he allowed two runs in the fourth.

“I thought we pitched well and that’s something that is going to help us as we continue the season,” Coleman said. “We need those guys out of our bullpen to be a little more sure of what we are going to get out of there. They’ve been pretty good the last couple of times out.”

The Wranglers continue their season hosting Western Texas College at noon Friday for a WJCAC doubleheader at American Legion Park.

Lay said the team needs to shake off this loss and focus on the home-and-home series with the Westerners this weekend. Odessa College and Midland College are tied for the top spot in the WJCAC with 11-1 records.

“They are a scrappy bunch,” Lay said about Western Texas College. “They are going to come in and they are going to fight. We are going to have to play at a high level. I expect us to quick turnaround from this loss and hopefully get the first one on Friday.”