Kansas Wesleyan used several big innings on Saturday to propel the Coyotes to a doubleheader sweep of the Peru State Bobcats in KWU’s home opener at Dean Evans Stadium.
The Coyotes won the opener 18-01 in a run-rule shortened contest and completed the sweep with an 11-7 win in the second game.
Kendall Foster (SR/Prosper, Texs) hit two homers in the opener, a grand slam and a 3-run shot, driving in seven runs, while Zack Beatty (JR/Maple Park, Ill.) also hit a grand slam for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes loaded the bases in the first inning of the opener and Beatty stepped to the plate and promptly cleared them with a grand slam to right center, right into the teeth of the gusty wind that was blowing across the diamond from right to left field.
KWU blew the game open in the third with eight runs. Cruz Oxford (FR/Peoria, Ariz.) drove in the first run on a ground out, followed by a RBI double by Jarrett Gable (SR/Colleyville, Texas). Pinch runner Coulson Riggs (FR/Piedmont, Okla.) scored on an error and another run scored when John Downey (SR/Redding, Calif.) struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch.
The Coyotes proceeded to load the bases and Foster quickly unloaded them with a homer to left.
Foster’s 3-run homer in the fourth added to the Coyote lead.
Meanwhile, Wesleyan’s pitching was stellar in the opener. Starter Nathan Righi (JR/Pekin, Ill.) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, before allowing a tough luck single off his foot to end the no-hit bid.
In the sixth, the Coyotes added three more runs as Zach Olson (JR/Red Deer, Alberta) walked with the bases loaded to bring in a run, and Diego Solis (SO/El Paso, Texas) hit a ground-rule double to right center that scored two.
Peru State’s lone run came in the seventh.
Solis led the Coyotes with four hits, while William Dryburgh (SR/St. Joseph, Mo.), Foster, Dustin Sipe (SR/Aztec, N.M.) and Gable had two each. Righi went five innings for the win, allowing two hits and striking out six. Riley Gwin (SO/Houston, Texas) struck out three and allowed one hit over the final two innings.
Things got a little interesting in the second game. The Coyotes took an 11-3 lead into the seventh, but Peru State scored four runs, before the Coyotes were able to close it out.
KWU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a 2-run double by Kevin Esquilin-Cruz (SR/Trujilo Alto, Puerto Rico) and a RBI single by Zach Olson.
Peru State scored twice in the second and once in the third to tie it up before the Coyotes scored six in the bottom of the frame.
Beatty had a 2-run single, Esquilin-Cruz hit a 2-run homer, Jackson Newman (JR/Bixby, Okla.) drove in a run on a ground out and Dryburgh tripled in the inning.
Sipe hit a pair of homers in his next two at bats, one in the fourth, and another in the sixth to extend the Coyote lead.
Sipe led the Coyotes with three hits, while Dryburgh, Beatty and Esquilin-Cruz had two each.
Jarrett Brannen (JR/Bakersfield, Calif.) went six and a third allowing seven runs, five earned on eight hits, while striking out seven.
The teams will meet again on Sunday at 1 p.m. to complete the series at Dean Evans Stadium.