FREMONT – A dominant pitching performance by Brett Erwin and a persistent offense that scored in six of eight offensive half-innings powered the Moo to a 9-3 win over Western Nebraska Wednesday at Moller Field. The win, coupled with Hastings 8-3 loss to Souris Valley Wednesday night, bolstered Fremont’s lead in the Clark Division to four games while cutting the Moo’s magic number to clinch the division championship to three with seven games to go.
Listen to the game recap:
Erwin was masterful on the mound through the first six innings, allowing just two hits and facing just one batter over the minimum, before allowing three earned runs to score in the seventh inning. In total, Erwin pitched 6.2 innings, allowing four hits with just one walk while striking out 11, his second straight outing with 10 or more strikeouts. In his last four starts and 25.1 innings pitched, Erwin has allowed just six earned runs with 11 walks and 38 strikeouts, while pitching to a 3-1 record with a 2.13 ERA.
For the first time in five games, the Moo scored first. Dillon Sears led off the bottom of the first with a walk. He advanced to third when Cooper Morrison singled to right. Two batters later, Jack Simonsen drove in Sears with a groundout to shortstop. Hayden Klemenok followed on a single to right, scoring Morrison to make it 2-0.
Fremont added to its lead in the second. Nick Emanuel led off the inning with a single up the middle. Trevor Barajas drew a walk but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice hit into by Jet Weber in his Moo debut. Emanuel moved to third on the play. A sacrifice fly to center by Sears scored Emanuel and gave the Moo a three-run lead. Weber moved to third on the play. The next batter, Morrison, grounded a single up the middle, scoring Weber. McBride singled to left-center, moving Morrison to third. Before a pitch was thrown to the next batter Simonsen, McBride took off for second on the first move by the pitcher, Chandler Young. Morrison raced in from third, avoided the throw home, then tagged the plate to give the Moo a 5-0 lead.
Then in the third, Klemenok hit a leadoff triple to right, then scored on Chaney Dodge’s groundout to short, giving Fremont a 6-0 lead. The Moo added another run in the fourth. With one out, Sears doubled to right, moved to third on Morrison’s single to left, then scored on McBride’s sacrifice fly to the wall in left to make it 7-0. After a quiet fifth, the Moo scored again in the sixth, this time without benefit of a hit. Trevor Barajas reached on a leadoff walk, then was retired on a fielder’s choice hit into by Weber. Weber moved to second on an error, to third on a walk to Morrison, then scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-0.
Western Nebraska tallied three runs in the top of the seventh, cutting the Moo lead to five. An RBI groundout to second by Barajas scored Klemenok to push the Moo lead to 9-3.
Morrison, a UC-Davis teammate of Erwin’s, paced the Moo offense by going 4-for-4 with an RBI. Klemenok was 3-for-4 with an RBI. The Moo ran wild against the Pioneers, stealing 7 bases for the game. Morrison, McBride and Klemenok all had two each.
Fremont closes its three-game series with Western Nebraska and the home portion of its regular season schedule with a 6:05 pm game Wednesday at historic Moller Field (750 S. Broad Street, Fremont, Neb.). The game can be heard on FremontMoo.com.