Late-inning slip forces BBCC split with CBC

Apr. 3—MOSES LAKE — Coming off of a rough conference home opener, the Big Bend Community College Vikings traveled to Pasco Saturday to finish out a four-game set against Columbia Basin College, according to an announcement from BBCC.

Brendan McKinley was handed the ball in game 1 and continued throwing the ball well, tossing five and a third innings of two-run baseball. With two outs in the second inning started by Bryce Laforest drawing a walk, the Vikings scored seven runs on five hits, giving BBCC an early 7-0 lead. McKinley left the game with a 7-2 lead in the sixth inning, handing the ball off to James Macrae, who walked three and gave up two in his two-and-a-third innings of work.

Entering the bottom of the ninth, BBCC led by a score of 10-5, but a solo home run, a walk and two hit batters had the Hawks threatening with no outs. Nolan Soderstrom came in with the bases loaded and slammed the door, leading to a 10-7 win. Kyle Belich led the way offensively, going 2-4 with two RBIs while Gunnar Graves and JT Penrod each collected two hits.

Hoping to finish the series with a split, the Vikings came out firing in game two, according to the announcement. Big Bend scored one in the first, three in the second and three in the third, giving the Vikings a 7-2 lead. Brett Nemechek struggled on the mound, walking five over three innings and surrendering four runs before handing it off to the bullpen.

The five-run lead slowly shrank as the Hawks' offense chipped away. Entering the ninth inning the Vikes had a 7-5 lead with Laforest on the bump working on his fifth inning of relief. Laforest seemed to run out of gas; he surrendered a leadoff single and hit a batter before Soderstrom came in with one out and runners on first and second. Soderstrom managed to strike out the first batter he faced and needed just one more out to complete the win, but CBC came through with a two-out triple to tie it up at seven followed by a two-out single, leading to a final score of 8-7.

"We were able to bounce back and compete after a frustrating start to conference play on Wednesday," head coach Chase Tunstall said. "The guys proved what they are capable of any given day even though we ended Saturday with a split. I look forward to seeing the Vikes continue to attack conference play."