Zach Olson's (SO/Red, Alberta) home run leading off the bottom of the eighth inning and stellar work by the bullpen propelled Kansas Wesleyan to a 3-2 victory in the first game of a Kansas Conference doubleheader on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Dean Evans Stadium.
Saint Mary won the second game 3-0.
The games were the last at Evans Stadium in 2022 for the Coyotes, who play their final seven regular season contests on the road.
Olson's homer capped a late comeback after KWU fell behind 2-1 in the sixth inning. Haydn Brown (SR/Gardnerville, Nev.) walked with one out in the seventh and Dusty Sipe followed with a double to left centerfield that scored Brown and tied the game 2-2.
Cale Fields relieved Saint Mary starter Yanthony Navarro to start the ninth inning and Olson greeted him with a blast to left centerfield into the stiff north wind. It was his fifth homer of the season and second in two days.
Ryan Sandoval (JR/El Paso, Texas) pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out the first two batters, to end the game and earn a save.
Ethan Wilson (SR/Thackerville, Okla.), who relieved KWU starter Branden Voytko (JR/El Paso, Texas) with two outs in the sixth inning, was the winning pitcher. Wilson pitched 2.1 shutout innings, didn't allow a hit, struck out three and walked none.
Voytko had a strong outing as well pitching 5.2 innings while allowing two runs on nine hits, seven strikeouts and one walk.
The Coyotes had seven hits in the opener with Olson going 2 for 2 and scoring twice. Brown was on base four times with a single and three walks.
Navarro pitched seven strong innings and allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and five walks.
Saint Mary starter Peyton Garvin pitched a seven-inning complete game in the nightcap limiting the Coyotes to four singles while striking out six and walking one.
The loss overshadowed a strong effort by Coyote starter Oscar Sanchez (JR/Celina, Texas), who gave up one run on two hits in five innings with five strikeouts and three walks. Reliever KT Gearlds (JR/Ingram, Texas) allowed two runs on two hits in two-thirds of inning in the sixth inning. Caden Diccion got the final out of the sixth and Cesar Rodriguez (SO/Houston, Texas) blanked the Spires in the seventh.
Saint Mary scored its first run in the second inning on a bases loaded walk. The Spires' two runs in the sixth came on one hit, four walks and an error.
The Coyotes (25-23 overall, 13-13 KCAC) play a single game against York on Tuesday starting at 4 p.m. in York, Neb. They travel to Lindsborg for a three-game series against rival Bethany next weekend starting with a single game at 3 p.m. Friday followed by a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday.