The Cloud County Thunderbirds split a double header with McCook in their first action at Lee Doyen field this season. Cloud dropped the opener 3-0 but responded with a 10-9 win in game two.
Game 1: Cloud County 0 McCook 3
The T-Bird bat's were silenced in game one by McCook starter Chase Adams. Adams worked a complete game two hit shutout and struck out ten T-Bird hitters.
Cloud sent ace John Badgett to the mound for his first start of the 2016 season. Badgett held McCook in check through four despite being in and out of trouble all day. He scattered six hits and issued three walks in four scoreless innings of work.
Cloud turned to Nick Wordekemper in the 5th. McCook welcomed Wordekemper with back to back solo home runs from Dominic Paratore and Garrett Christiansen.
Cole Otto came on after Wordekemper and worked out of a 5th inning jam. Otto went back out in the 6th and issued a leadoff walk to start the inning. Otto then fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt and threw it down the right field line allowing McCook to score an insurance run and go ahead 3-0.
Game 2: Cloud County 10 McCook 9
Jacob Grady got the bats going for Cloud in game two with a three run first inning bomb to left center.
Cloud starter Alex Torkelson retired the first seven McCook hitters in order before running into trouble in the third. McCook plated two in the inning.
The T-Birds used two walks and a hit by pitch to get the two back in the bottom of the third and go ahead 6-2.
Torkelson ran out of gas in the 4th as McCook led off the inning with back to back doubles. Head Coach Greg Brummet turned to Chris Langin who came in and got two quick outs before surrendering a two out, two RBI single to Keanu Van Kuren to cut the Cloud lead to 6-5.
Ryan Cornell led off the 4th with an opposite field home run. It was his second of the season and put Cloud ahead 7-5.
The T-Birds went to the 7th with a 10-6 lead. Brummett turned to Freshman JW Maldaner to close it out. McCook's Aiden Laurini launched the first pitch he saw into the street over the left field fence to make it 10-7. With runners on first and third and one out Maldaner induced a ground ball to third baseman Jose Chacin who elected to throw home and threw wide of the catcher plating another McCook run. Jason Cox then hit an RBI single and it was 10-9. Maldaner buckled down and threw three straight pitches by Dominic Paratore to end the threat and seal the win for Cloud 10-9.
Ryan Cornell was 3-4 and drove in three.
Jacob Grady was 1-2 with two walks and the three run blast in the first.
Five T-Birds pitched in the contest. Chris Langin picked up the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Cloud will enter conference play next week as they will welcome the Barton Cougars to Concordia. The teams will play doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.