STERLING, Kan. – Coyotes dig the long ball.
Trailing 5-1 heading into the fifth inning, the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes needed a spark to get the offense going against the Sterling Warriors.
That spark quickly turned into a wildfire as the Coyotes exploded for 13 runs in the fifth inning, all coming on home runs – five of them, a presumed school record for home runs in an inning – as Wesleyan powered past the Warriors 20-10 on Tuesday at the Sterling baseball field.
The five homers presumably sets a new KWU school record for homers in an inning, the previous benchmark for the feat being four, done three times since 2005, the last in 2016.
The Coyotes loaded the bases to open the fifth with walks to Kendall Foster (SR/Prosper, Texs) and Haydn Brown (SR/Gardnerville, Nev.) around Dustin Sipe (SR/Aztec, N.M.)’s single. Zack Beatty (JR/Maple Park, Ill.) unloaded the bases with a grand slam to get the inning going. Jarrett Gable (SR/Colleyville, Texas) and Kevin Esquilin-Cruz (SR/Trujilo Alto, Puerto Rico) followed with back-to-back homers, making it back-to-back-to-back for the Coyotes.
Wesleyan wasn’t done there, Zach Olson (JR/Red Deer, Alberta) singled, Diego Solis (SO/El Paso, Texas) was hit by a pitch and Dryburgh walked again setting up Foster’s grand slam, the second of the inning for the Coyotes blowing the game wide open.
After singles to Brown and Beatty, Gable did it again, hitting his second homer of the inning, this time a 3-run shot making it 14-5 in favor of the Coyotes.
Wesleyan added three more in the sixth on a 2-run single by Brown and a RBI fielder’s choice by Esquilin-Cruz.
Three more came across for the Coyotes in the seventh, Reece Bishop (JR/Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a pinch-hit RBO double, and Gable and Coulson Riggs (FR/Piedmont, Okla.) walked with the bases loaded bringing in two more for the Coyotes.
Sterling scored four in the bottom of the seventh to make it 20-10, but the Coyotes would close it out there on the run-rule.
Sterling scored once in the first on a homer, and added four more in the third to take a 5-0 lead.
The Coyotes plated their first run of the game on a bases loaded walk to Solis in the fourth inning.
Zach Westbrook (JR/Azle, Texas) for the win for the Coyotes, tossing three innings in relief allowing a run on a hit. Starter Spencer Foley (SR/Lancaster, Calif.) went two innings allowing five runs on five hits. Danny Ramirez (SO/Calexico, Calif.) pitched a hitless sixth inning. Cayden Diccion (SR/Piedmont, Calif.) allowed four runs in the seventh ahead of Nathaniel Beers (SR/Port Orchard, Wash.) closing it out with three strikeouts.
The Coyotes play their final home series of the season this weekend, hosting the Ottawa Braves in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. at The Dean, and a single niner on Sunday at 1 p.m. at The Dean.
KWU then plays its final seven on the road, before the KCAC Baseball Championships May 3 through 6 at the Great Bend Sports Complex in Great Bend.