COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: OC baseball to face NMMI at home

Mar. 13—The Odessa College baseball team will remain at home with this week's conference series against New Mexico Military Institute.

The Wranglers (10-11 overall, 2-2 in WJCAC) will begin the series against the Broncos (13-10, 2-2) with a doubleheader starting at noon Friday at Wrangler Ballpark.

The series will conclude with another doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday at Wrangler Ballpark.

Odessa College is coming off a split series against rivals Midland College last week in which the Chaparrals won the first two games in Midland last Friday before the Wranglers won the last two on Saturday at Wrangler Ballpark.

"We just need to build off our last two wins and continue to play together and play well," Odessa College head coach Kurtis Lay said. "NMMI's a good club. They split with New Mexico Junior College. They were picked to finish in the top two spots in the conference, so we're going to have to show up and play good baseball."

The Broncos dropped their first game in last week's series against the Thunderbirds, losing 7-6 before winning Game 2, 10-8.

New Mexico Military Institute won Game 3 in a 4-3 contest before losing the finale, 8-6.

Meanwhile, the Wranglers lost by scores of 5-2 and 5-4 at Christensen Stadium last Friday before winning the next two contests by scores of 12-2 and 10-9.

"We had opportunities at their place last Friday with runners on third base with two outs, but we didn't get the job done," Lay said. "But I didn't think we did a good job of competing as a team. I thought we competed as individuals. I feel like the difference between Friday and Saturday is Saturday, we actually competed as a team."

Still, it's a far cry from the where the Wranglers began the season.

Odessa College started the spring on a six-game losing streak.

The team has won six of its last eight including a series sweep of Colby Community College in a non-conference encounter at the start of March.

"It's about finding guys and putting them in the right roles," Lay said. "We have adjusted our starting rotation probably three times since the first week of season play and we've settled down on four starters and kind of have an idea of who I can go to in crucial moments of the game. We have a better feel for what we're going to get (at) game time."

This weekend's series will also be the third week in a row where the Wranglers have been at home for at least one game.

"The guys respond at home," Lay said. "We've had success here and hopefully we can continue that trend this weekend."

>> WJCAC STANDINGS: Amarillo College (15-5, 3-1) remains tied for first in the WJCAC standings along with El Paso Community College (12-12, 3-1).

Midland College (14-7, 2-2) is third, followed by New Mexico Junior College (14-8, 2-2), New Mexico Military Institute and Odessa College.

>> SOFTBALL: Odessa College will return home to begin WJCAC play next week.

The Lady Wranglers (12-12) will face Western Texas College (6-22) in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. March 22 at Wrangler Field.