NEVADA – It may not have been pretty, but Nevada got the job done against a gritty Colo-Nesco team in a non-conference rivalry game July 10 at Billy Sunday Field in Nevada.
Behind strong pitching from Alex Good and timely hitting in the fourth inning, the Cubs pulled off a 3-1 victory over the Royals to snap an eight-game losing streak.
"We got the job done," Good said. "Now we’ve got a lot of work to do to prepare for districts, but I think we can get it done."
Good said he was a little tired on the mound after catching the previous two games for Nevada. Good wasn’t overpowering against Colo-Nesco, but he hit his spots and was able to get out of a couple of jams.
"I kept it on cruise throughout the entire game," Good said. "I did my job when I had to and we scored enough runs to get it done."
In the top of the fourth inning, with Nevada clinging to a 1-0 lead, Grant Tiarks led off with an infield single and Steven Cutler drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs for Colo-Nesco. A passed ball moved both runners up a base and Tanner Clatt worked a full count off Good, but the Cub pitcher forced Clatt to ground out to first to get out of the inning.
Nevada scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning to get some much-needed breathing room, because Colo-Nesco came back with another threat in the fifth.
Christian Reischauer hit a one-out double, Brady Stoeffler drew a walk and Taylor Hill reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Good then walked Tiarks to give Colo-Nesco a run and still left the bases loaded with just one out.
But Good dug down deep to get Matthew Hill looking on strikes, then he forced Payton Larson to ground back to him on the mound for the final out without any further damage done.
In the sixth inning Good worked around a dropped third strike that allowed Cutler to reach safely to lead off the inning. In the seventh the Cub hurler mowed down two batters on strikes and also forced a pop out to wrap up the victory.
"I was pitching to contact most of the night because I didn’t have it in me to blow it by people," Good said. "But that last inning I really turned it up. I wanted to finish the game, so I blew it by him."
Good finished the night allowing one run on five hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Nevada continued its struggles hitting the ball. The Cubs had nine hits off Stoeffler, but they failed to string anything together outside of the fourth inning.
"Going from seeing our conference pitchers to a guy throwing like 60-65 miles an hour is a lot for a hitter to adjust to," Good said. "But no excuses, we’ve got to get back to hitting the ball. We’ve got to get multiple hitters hot at once. We can’t have a hit, strikeout, strikeout, hit."
The first Cub run came in the first inning when Good walked, moved up on an infield hit by Chris Dobernecker then scored on an error. In the fourth inning Dobernecker hit a leadoff single, Macade Matuska ripped a big one-out double down the left field line and then Jack Higgins hit an RBI single.
Nevada’s second run of the inning came on an errant Royal throw following Higgins’ base hit.
Dobernecker went 2-for-3 with a double, run and RBI and Matuska was 1-for-2 with a double and a run to lead Nevada on offense. Good singled, walked and scored; Higgins was 1-for-2 with an RBI and Traye Pelzer, Patrick Stephenson, Brandon DeGroot and Cam Shill each picked up one hit for the Cubs.
Stoeffler finished with five strikeouts and three walks and he only gave up one earned run in six innings to give his team a chance.
"Brady pitched just an unbelievable game tonight," Colo-Nesco head coach Brandon Frohwein said. "His last two efforts have been outstanding."
But like Nevada, the Royals struggled to get timely hits, especially in the fourth and fifth innings when they had a chance to break through.
"We just couldn’t get the two-out hit," Frohwein said. "But I’m just really proud of the way the guys fought. Obviously we want to win the game, but we played one of our best games of the year – there’s no doubt about that. If we play like we did tonight against Iowa Valley (in districts) next week, we’ll have a fighting chance. They’re a good team, but we’ll be right there with them."
Reischauer finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run; Tiarks was 1-for-2 with two walks, two steals and an RBI; Stoeffler walked and singled and Hill picked up one base hit for Colo-Nesco.
Nevada improved to 7-17 with the victory and Colo-Nesco finished its regular season at 6-19.
Nevada 3, Colo-Nesco 1
C-N 000 010 0 – 1 5 2
N 100 200 X – 3 9 0
C-N: Brady Stoeffler and Taylor Hill
N: Alex Good and Macade Matuska
2B: C-N – Christian Reischauer; N – Matuska; Chris Dobernecker