Neale gets 300th career win as Coyotes sweep doubleheader with McPherson

Bill Neale was not the least bit upset when his Kansas Wesleyan baseball team poured water on him Saturday.“They almost apologized for throwing water on me but anytime you get water thrown on you it’s a good thing,” Neale said shortly after the Coyotes completed a Kansas Conference doubleheader sweep of McPherson 14-2 and 6-3 at Dean Evans Stadium. The second victory was the 300th of Neale’s career – 276 of them at KWU since taking over the program in July of 2014.“It tells me that 300 times my guys have had success and won,” he said. Bill Neale was not the least bit upset when his Kansas Wesleyan baseball team poured water on him Saturday.Neale, who coached one season at Bacone and won 24 games before coming to Wesleyan, has led the program to national prominence in his nine-plus seasons.“That’s the best part of it, going from where we were to now,” Neale said. “The constant support we have from our administration, our athletic directors over the years – Mike (Hermann), Steve (Wilson) and now Miguel (Paredes). Obviously, president (Matt) Thompson has been here the whole time and Ken Oliver (Executive Vice President of Advancement and University Operations) coming in. We have all the support to do stuff.“We’ve gone from a tough place to we’ve got a target on our back now.”The Coyotes (13-7, 7-4 KCAC) prevailed Saturday thanks to outstanding pitching and clutch hitting with an assist from McPherson’s pitchers’ inability to find the strike zone – 11 walks in the first game and five in the second.KWU scored 20 runs on 15 hits in the two games.“We’re obviously not hitting like the teams we’ve had here in the past,” Neale said. “We have hit and we will at some point. We’re finding ways to win right now which I think will be important down the road because there’s going to be times in the playoffs or if we need to win to get into the playoffs that we’re going to have to find ways to win.“We’re pitching and playing pretty good defense and we got some timely hitting. We’ll turn the sticks around.”Neale praised the work of his pitchers.“Our pitching depth is one of our best things,” he said. “We’re excited we can keep throwing guys out there. We have so much trust in 12, 13, 14 guys.”The series concludes with a single game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Evans Stadium.KWU 14, McPHERSON 2Two five-run innings and stellar pitching propelled the Coyotes to the eight-inning, run-rule win.Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning KWU needed only three hits in making it 5-2. Cruz Oxford tied the game with a two-run and four batters later Eric Romero broke it open with a three-run homer. McPherson starter Jameson Caro walked two and both scored.Courtesy runner Coulson Riggs scored on a McPherson error that made it 6-2 in the sixth. KWU tacked on three runs in the seventh without a hit while taking advantage of three walks, two wild pitches and an error – Jarrett Gable and courtesy runners Riggs and Brock Schramme crossing home plate.The Coyotes ended it with five runs in the eighth inning starting with Dakota Foster’s solo homer. Another error and two more walks preceded Reece Bishop’s game-ending grand slam.Gable and Romero had two hits apiece.Starting pitcher Nathan Righi allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and no strikeouts in four innings. Thalen Wright (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings and Ritter Steinmann and KT Gearlds tossed one each.KWU 6, McPHERSON 3The Coyotes fell behind 3-0 but tied it with three runs in the third inning in an unconventional way. Gable’s RBI double scored Romero to make it 3-1. A wild pitch allowed Jake Williamson to score from third and Gable sprinted home from second as well on the play.The Coyotes took the lead 4-3 in the fourth inning on Foster’s RBI ground out that scored Koby Roberts. KWU went up 5-3 in the fifth when Riggs stole second then stole third and scored on a throwing error on the play.Gable’s solo homer in the sixth accounted for the final run. He had two hits, drove in two and scored twice in leading the offense.Starter Jarrett Brannen (4-1) allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in five innings. Steinmann and Ryan Sandoval each worked a scoreless inning, with Sandoval getting his fifth save of the season.