BASEBALL: Medrano's gem helps No. 15 TC win 4-1 at Cisco; Wranglers rally in finale for 5-4 victory
CISCO – Temple College got another strong pitching performance from Nathan Medrano to beat Cisco 4-1 in Wednesday's first game and the No. 15-ranked Leopards were in position to sweep the road doubleheader, but the Wranglers stormed back to score four runs in the final three innings and seize a 5-4, walk-off win to earn the split.
Temple (27-6) saw its six-game winning streak end in the finale, leaving head coach Craig McMurtry's Leopards with a 10-4 record in the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. TC is in second place, one game behind rival McLennan (12-4).
TC and Cisco (25-9, 10-8 NTJCAC) will complete their four-game series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Danny Scott Sports Complex. Freshman right-hander Ulises Quiroga (7-0, 0.98 earned-run average) is the Leopards' likely starting pitcher in Saturday's first game.
After pitching a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in Temple's 4-2 non-conference win at Blinn on March 29, Medrano (6-2) went the distance for another victory in Wednesday's seven-inning opener at Cisco. The sophomore righty and University of Houston signee scattered six singles, struck out four batters and walked one. Medrano improved his ERA to 2.34 and has 54 strikeouts in a team-best 50 innings.
TC grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning before Cisco made it 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. The Leopards came right back with three runs in the sixth to take a 4-1 advantage, and Medrano finished the job by holding the Wranglers in the final two innings.
Freshman third baseman Ty Tilson drove in two runs for Temple, and freshman outfielders Clay Bradford and Andre Jackson each hit a double. Bradford stole a base and scored two runs.
Cisco's Samuel Mendez (2-1) pitched mostly well in a complete game, allowing three hits and recording eight strikeouts against one walk. Colton Moore and Tanner Seidler produced two hits apiece for the Wranglers and Moore drove in their lone run.
The Leopards then had an opportunity to sweep the twinbill and remain in a virtual tie with McLennan for the NTJCAC lead, but they let a win slip away in the nine-inning finale. Single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings staked Temple to a 3-0 lead in support of freshman lefty pitcher and Belton graduate Dylan Blomquist.
Cisco got on the board with one run in the sixth, then Blomquist recorded one out in the seventh and left the game with two runners on base. Reliever Davis Pratt got out of the seventh but not before both inherited runners scored for a 3-3 game.
Blomquist allowed four hits and three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk.
The Leopards responded with a run in the eighth to regain the lead at 4-3. Sophomore southpaw Diego Fernandez pitched 1 1/3 innings before freshman righty closer Brian Shadrick (Belton) relieved him in the ninth. Cisco produced a walk and two hits against Shadrick (2-1), who did not record an out, to push across two runs for the walk-off win that split the doubleheader.
Carlos Contreras paced the Wranglers' offense, going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Moore drove in two runs and scored two. The late comeback made a winner out of Easton Malin (5-2), who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Jackson and Seth Stephenson each had a double and two hits for Temple, and Tennessee signee Stephenson drove in a run. Tilson also drove in one run and has a team-high 29 RBI, one more than Stephenson.
Northern Texas Junior College
No. 15 Temple College 4, Cisco 1
Temple 001 003 0 – 4 3 0
Cisco 000 010 0 – 1 6 0
TC: Nathan Medrano and Sammy Diaz. C: Samuel Mendez and Angel Andrades. W – Medrano (6-2). L – Mendez (2-1). 2B – TC: Andre Jackson, Clay Bradford.
Highlights – TC: Medrano four strikeouts in complete game; Ty Tilson two runs batted in; Bradford two runs scored, stolen base; C: Mendez eight strikeouts in complete game; Colton Moore 2-for-3, RBI; Tanner Seidler 2-for-3.
Cisco 5, No. 15 Temple College 4
Temple 001 011 010 – 4 10 1
Cisco 000 001 202 – 5 7 1
TC: Dylan Blomquist, Davis Pratt (7), Diego Fernandez (7), Brian Shadrick (9) and Andruw Gonzales. C: Jon Barrera, Danny Davis (6), Seth Higdon (8), Easton Malin (8) and August Ramirez. W – Malin (5-2). L – Shadrick (2-1). 2B – TC: Seth Stephenson, Ty Tilson, Cole Payne, Andre Jackson; C: Carlos Contreras, Alec Carr, Colton Moore.
Highlights – TC: Blomquist seven strikeouts, four hits allowed in 6 1/3 innings; Jackson 2-for-4, run; Stephenson 2-for-5, RBI; Clark Henry two runs; Tilson RBI; C: Contreras 3-for-5, three RBI; Moore two RBI, two runs.
Records – Temple 27-6 overall, 10-4 in NTJCAC; Cisco 25-9, 10-8.
Note – TC hosts Cisco in doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday at Danny Scott Sports Complex.