Western Nebraska Pioneers drop doubleheader to Pierre

The Pioneers' Cody Kehl slides safely into second base in game two of their doubleheader against the Pierre Trappers on Tuesday, July 14.

The Western Nebraska Pioneers were never able to put anything together offensively dropping both games of its doubleheader to the Pierre Trappers on Tuesday.

In game one, the Pioneers got on the scoreboard first with a run in the second inning in the 6-1 loss to Pierre. Western Nebraska’s Thomas Gavello scored on a Pierre error.

The offense would be all Pierre the rest of the game. The Trappers scored a run in the top of the third and fourth for the 2-1 lead.

Pierre extended the lead to 6-1 with four fifth-inning runs.

Jace Hansen started the game on the mound for the Pioneers, pitching 4.1 innings surrendering six hits and six runs and striking out 3. Ryan Flippo pitched .2 innings of relief record one strikeout and giving up two hits.

Pioneers pitcher Paul Panduro, of Scottsbluff, pitched two innings in relief fanning three Pierre batters.

Offensively, the Pioneers were paced by Ethan Loveless in game one. Loveless had two this in two at bats. Gavello, Gabe Huante and Jason Luke also connected for hits in game one.

The Pioneers offensive woes continued in game two losing 8-0 to the Trappers.

Pierre put a run on the scoreboard in the second, third and fourth to take the 3-0 lead. The trappers added two more runs in the sixth and three in the seventh for the 8-0 win.

Andrew DelBlaggio started the game on the mound for Western Nebraska giving up two hits, two runs and striking out two Pierre batters. Michael Callia pitched 3.2 innings in relief striking out six and giving up four hits and three runs.

Welinton Mariano pitched .2 innings recording one strikeout.

Cody Kehl, Spencer Marenco and Gabe Togia picked up hits to lead the Pioneers offensively in game two.

Pioneers coach Ryan Sires said his team needs to be more aggressive in the batter’s box.

“Offensively, we got to do a better job tackling fastballs early in the count,” he said. “We need to get a little tougher with two strikes to just put the ball in play and try and make the defense work. We put the ball in play in the first game and good things happened for us.”

Sires said his team needs to get focused as the season progresses.

“Our mentality just has got to get a little better. I think we were a little complacent,” he said. “We need to go out and be on the attack all of the time. This team did a really good job on the road the last five games, taking four out of the five games.”

Sires said his team just needs to move on and get ready for the team’s next test.

“We talked about it afte the game. We’re going to move on (today) and get back on the road to Hastings and flip that switch again. We’re going to get back to that mentality of opening day and going to win every single ball game.”

The Pioneers take on Hastings in a three-game series beginning today at 5:35 p.m. MST, before taking on the Sodbusters in a three-game homestand beginning Saturday, July 18.

Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9050 or emailing jeff.vanpatten@starherald.com.

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