The Odessa College baseball team had more than a few rough spots Saturday, but regrouped to salvage a split of their doubleheader against Seward County Community College at UTPB's Roden Field.
Seward County took the seven-inning opener 5-1 behind Tanner King's complete-game two-hitter and led 6-1 in the nine-inning second game before the Wranglers (5-2) came back.
"We played nine innings of very poor baseball from all facets," Odessa College coach Kurtis Lay said. "You've got to tip your hat to King. He threw the ball really well.
"But we were on our heels from the very first inning. We played nine innings of baseball on our heels before we actually were able to get off the mat and throw some punches."
Odessa College hosts Colby Community College for a doubleheader starting at noon today at Roden Field to wrap up the weekend.
In the nightcap, Seward jumped on Odessa College starter Jordan Seay for four runs in the first. Joe Kuhn hit a two-run homer and the Saints (3-3) added a run on a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk. In the second inning, RBIs by Cayde Ward and Ben Tsui gave the Saints a five-run lead.
Morales came on with two outs in the second and pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six while allowing five hits and a walk. Brown worked the final 3.1 innings for the save, striking out six while allowing a run on a hit. Brown escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth after the Wranglers took a 7-6 lead in the fifth.
Castillo, who went 3 for 4, homered on the first pitch of the game from Seward starter Jake Lombardelli, then drove in a run and scored during the Wranglers' five-run fifth.
"That first pitch coming out, they put up four runs and I wanted to set the tone, get out of the gates early," Castillo said. "I feel like I did that.
"After that, we fell off for a couple of innings. But after (Morales) came in and gave us some zeroes on the mound, that really helped us get our backs bat in the game. That was really the big change in the game, Rob right there."
Lay said the difference was Morales and Brown being able to keep the Saints close.
"We always feel like if we put up some zeroes, our offense is going to have a chance," Lay said. "I think we have a very explosive offense. The key was finding somebody who could go out there with two pitches for strikes, keep them off balance and give us a chance to get back in it,"
In the opener, Seward County took advantage of two Odessa College errors in a three-run second against Wranglers starter Chandler Arnold, who was charged with four runs on five hits in taking the loss. Ward homered to lead off the third.
King, who retired the first 10 batters he faced, struck out 10 and walked three in getting the win.
Odessa College scored its run before recording a hit. In the fourth, T.J. Tomlinson walked, stole second and moved up on a balk before scoring on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Angel Torres singled to break up the no-hitter.
ARTICLE BY-SAM WALLER:ODESSA AMERICAN
PHOTO BY: ODESSA AMERICAN SPORTS