ARTICLE BY: TONY VENEGAS | OA SPORTS
Odessa College baseball coach Kurtis Lay touted his team's versatility heading into the season-opening doubleheader against Cisco College.
That ability was on full display for the Wranglers as they started off the season with a sweep of Cisco College Saturday at Wrangler Field.
The Wranglers won 11-1 and 6-3, with Game 1 ending after five innings on the run-rule.
"The biggest thing early in the season is finding ways to win games," Lay said. "They did that today and I'm proud of that.
"I was happy with our approach offensively for the most part and whenever one guy didn't guy get the job done, the next guy stepped up."
Odessa College (2-0) withstood some early charges from Cisco College, which led off each of the first two innings with hits.
Starting pitcher Kaden Cassidy worked his way out of those jams out to keep the game scoreless through two innings en route to allowing four hits, with three strikeouts, through four innings of work..
Odessa College got going offensively in the third inning, batting around and taking advantage of some defensive mistakes from Cisco.
A leadoff single from Myles Jefferson combined with an error and a fielder's choice loaded the bases for Ivan Melendez. Melendez walked with the bases load for the first run and Odessa College scored its second run when Luis Gonzalez reached base safely on an error.
Lennin Ashby capped off the inning with a two-run single to give Odessa College a 4-0 lead.
Odessa College batted around again in the fourth inning, adding three more runs by way of a two-run double from T.J. Tomlinson and an RBI single from Gonzalez.
Odessa College closed the game with four more runs in the fifth inning to end the opener.
A solo home run by Jacob Garza in the fifth inning was all that Cisco College managed in the first game.
Cisco College shook off the tough start and opened Game with two runs on a single by Garza and double from Reed Trlicek.
Odessa College responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Daniel Monti and Tomlinson each singled to start the rally, with both runners moving up 90 feet on a wild pitch, though Tomlinson earned his advance after an interference call on Cisco College.
"I was expecting our guy on second to go to third but he played it smart after the ball went in the dirt," Tomlinson said. "I was stuck in the mud and just waited for the catcher and I guess you could just call it lucky whenever I ran into the fielder.
"I just didn't give up on the play and it worked out."
Odessa College took advantage of the break as Melendez hit a two-run single to tie the game. Melendez later scored on a Gullio Monello sacrifice fly to take a 3-2 lead after an eventful first inning.
Monello finished 2 for 2 in Game 2 with a double and triple, while Melendez finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs, including a solo home run to give Odessa College a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning. Sean Stephens added a two-run single to make it 6-3 after five innings.
"We have a number of guys that can step up and I think we showed that today," Monello said. "Every day is a new day and I think we can use this to look forward and get better."
While the offense was delivering, the bullpen came through to close things out for Odessa College.
Reliever Nick Ellis struck out seven over three-plus innings, but got caught in a jam when Cisco College loaded the bases to start the seventh inning.
Jorge Trevino stepped in to relieve Ellis and retired all three batters he faced to close out the sweep and get the save.