Wiley Sports Information
The Wiley College baseball team’s bats came to life in the fifth inning against Manhattan Christian College as the Wildcats put up nine runs en route to a 14-3 rout Friday at Coker Field.
The victory was the Wildcats’ third comeback win. It was Wiley College’s first victory at Coker Field since February 25, 2017. The Wildcats improved to 3-2 – which is their best start through five games since 2015 when it started 6-0.
Wiley College – which was held to 12 runs in its first four games – struck first. Ruben Hancock (SO/Sugarland, Texas) hit a RBI double to right field which scored Reis Calvin (FR/Chicago, Illinois) – who led off by being hit by a pitch. Justice Brown(JR/Sugarland, Texas) followed with a single to center field. The Thunder’s centerfielder bobbled the ball – allowing Hancock to score and Brown to advance to third.
The lead held up until the third inning. Joe Champion (SR/Brownsville, Texas) made his first start of the season for the Wildcats and only allowed one runner to reach base in the first two innings. In the third inning, he struggled with his command as he walked three batters. Manhattan Christian got on the board on an errant throw. With the bases loaded, the Thunder hit a two-RBI single to take a 3-2 lead. Champion pitched four innings and to one batter in the fifth. He gave up three runs (one earned) on one hit, walked four and struck out four.
Joshua Simon (SO/New Iberia, Louisiana) took over for Champion and allowed his first batter to reach on an error – which put runners on the corners with no outs. He got the next batter to pop out to shortstop. A fly out and ground out got Simon out of the jam. The Wildcats offense rewarded their pitcher in the next inning by scoring nine runs on four hits and three errors.
Hancock started the inning by being hit by a pitch. Brown followed with a single. Markus Garza (SO/Galveston, TX) loaded the bases with a walk. Antonio Martinez (FR/Chicago Heights, Illinois) gave the Wildcats the lead for good with a two-RBI single to left. Darian Fleming (JR/Beaumont, Texas) delivered the biggest hit of the inning with his first career grand slam that went over the right field wall. Eleven Wildcats came to the plate before Manhattan Christian recorded an out. Wiley College added three more runs on a sacrifice fly and two Thunder errors.
Simon earned his first win of the season, pitching two scoreless innings. He only gave up two hits. He increased his scoreless inning streak to five.
“He is getting better every week,” head coach Kendrick Biggs said. “I keep preaching to my players if they put in the work they will be rewarded.”
With the game well in hand, Biggs emptied his bench. The Wildcats were still able to score three more runs. Cristian Netro(FR) drew a bases loaded walk scoring Justin Gibson (FR/Sulphur Springs, Texas), who walked. Dominic Tezeno (FR/Orange, Texas) hit a RBI single to score Fleming. Manhattan Christian was unable to record an out on a ground ball by Justin Harmon (SR/Beaumont, Texas). Torian Branch (SO/Baton Rouge, Louisiana) scored.
In the first game, Wiley College was unable to get the offense going in a 1-0 loss to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The Wildcats only recorded two hits and only had five base runners advance into scoring position.
Austin Rotramel (SO/Plano, Texas) did everything he could on the mound to give the Wildcats a chance. He only needed 84 pitches to throw seven innings. After he struggled with his command in his first start on January 26 against Arlington Baptist College, he was sharp Friday only allowing one run on five hits, one walk, one hit batter. He struck out eight.
“Austin threw very well,” Biggs said. “He threw a complete game with only 84 pitches. You can’t ask for more from your starting pitcher. I just hate we couldn’t get the offense going.”
The Wildcats will close out their three-way on Saturday. They will face SAGU at 10:30 a.m. and Manhattan Christian College at 3 p.m.