CCSN blows chance in baseball regional

Considering the CCSN baseball team gave up two runs on wild pitches late in Thursday night's game, the Coyotes couldn't have asked for a better opportunity in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Bases loaded, no outs, down two runs to Western Nevada Community College in the opener of a best-of-3 series for the NJCAA Region 18 title. But Wildcats reliever Stephen Sauer quelled the rally with three strikeouts to finish a 6-4 victory over the Community College of Southern Nevada at Morse Stadium.

"We just didn't get it done," CCSN coach Tim Chambers said.

CCSN's Justin Herbert led off the ninth with a grounder that bounded over shortstop Kyle Bondurant's head, and Chase Leavitt followed with a chopper that bounced off first baseman Andrew Reid's glove. Kyle Bostick put a two-strike bunt down the third-base line, and though the ball seemingly would have rolled foul, Wildcats reliever Daniel Grubbs picked it up and had no play.

Grubbs threw one more pitch, a ball, to Tyson Mehlhoff before yielding to Sauer. Mehlhoff and Sauer battled through a nine-pitch at-bat before Sauer struck him out.

Sauer then fanned Kris Cichoski and Easton Gust to end it.

Taylor Mieras put the Wildcats up 2-0 with a two-run single in the top of the second, but CCSN tied it in the bottom of the inning on Justin Mishalow's two-run single.

Braeden Schlehuber put the Coyotes up 3-2 with a home run down the left-field line in the fourth. Bryce Massanari made it 4-2 with a fifth-inning bloop RBI double.

But the Wildcats scored a run in each of the last four innings.

With the score tied at 4 in the eighth, CCSN's Tyler Lavigne relieved Drew Leary with runners on first and second and one out. Lavigne struck out Pat Grennan but walked Mieras and then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Brad Carlson with what proved to be the winning run.

The Coyotes face a must-win game at 6 p.m. today, but Schlehuber -- citing Thursday's atmosphere -- said he's looking forward to it.

"It was really intense. That was one of the funnest games I've played in," he said. "The intensity will be just as much or even more (tonight)."