The Nevada Union baseball team had played eight games, but not one at home, leading up to the doubleheader against Rocklin on Friday.
After a pair of losses at the hands of the Thunder, they may be missing the road.
The Miners dropped the first game in extra innings and with that loss went any wind in NU’s sails as they were clobbered in game two, 11-1.
“We didn’t hit as well as we should have,” NU head coach Ted White said. “We had some opportunities to add on and we didn’t.”
The Miners dropped game one of the doubleheader in heartbreaking fashion, 5-3, in extra innings.
Nevada Union held on to a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh and were just three outs away from winning their home opener, but the Thunder had other plans.
NU had senior Beau Des Pois on the mound and up until the seventh he had been masterful. But a hit batter followed by a single put the first two Rocklin runners on. A wild pitch, a passed ball and a walk later Rocklin had scored a run and had runners on the corners with no outs.
Des Pois struck out the next batter, bringing up Ian Ferran, the No. 9 hitter in Rocklin’s lineup. Ferran hit a grounder to NU third basemen Brady Porter who fielded the ball cleanly, fired to second for one out, Tristan Cook then wheeled and threw to first for what looked like a game-ending double play, but the umpire in the field didn’t pump his fist signaling out, rather spread his arms to signal safe, meaning the run from third counted. When NU failed to plate a run in the bottom of the seventh it was on to extras.
“We had a chance to win it in the seventh and we couldn’t get it done and that’s frustrating,” White said.
Des Pois was done after the seventh and took a no-decision. He struck out six, walked one, allowed four hits and three runs, only one of which was earned.
The eighth and ninth innings saw very little offense from either team. Chris Sardo was brought in for Des Pois and sat down the first six batters he saw, but in the 10th inning Farren struck again. The speedy outfielder dropped down a bunt single with one out to give Rocklin life. Rocklin’s Sam Curtis then tallied a base knock, bouncing one through the infield where the NU second baseman usually plays, but was heading to second as Farren broke to steal. The hit put runners on first and second with one out.
A balk, the second called on NU in two days, advanced the runners an additional base. That’s when Rocklin’s Gage Sorenson broke the stalemate with a sacrifice fly to center field. A base hit by Dylan Smethurst brought in the insurance run for Rocklin.
In the bottom of the 10th, NU’s Cook drew a leadoff walk, but the next two batters failed to advance him. Dalton Maxwell also drew a walk to put the tying run on first. The Miners’ No. 4 hitter, Brock Grininger, then dug in and drove a pitch to center field, but it never found grass, just the leather of a Rocklin outfielder’s glove.
“We gotta come together, dig deep and find a way to win the close ones,” White said.
The one-run loss was NU’s fourth. They are 4-6 overall and 0-3 in SFL play.
In the loss NU tallied five hits. Grininger had a base knock and an RBI, Cook also had an RBI single, Maxwell singled in the first but was thrown out at second trying to stretch it, Noah Arriaga added an infield single and Sammy Powell had a base knock and a run scored.
Garnering the win from the mound for Rocklin was Jack Dennis, who took over in the fourth inning and pitched shutout ball for the remainder of the game.
In game two, Rocklin went on the attack early, scoring six first inning runs and NU was unable to respond offensively.
Joey Souza took the loss on the mound for NU, and the Miners mustered only five hits offensively. Grininger had two hits, Noah Arriaga added a double, Garrett O’Callaghan had a single and Johnathan Finau came off the bench and ripped a double.
The Miners (4-6, 0-3 SFL) will now take on Granite Bay at home Monday.
JV: Rocklin 3, Nevada Union 0
After a nine-day layoff and playing in their first home game of the season, the Miners lost 3-0 to Rocklin Thursday.
The game featured both pitchers being dialed in.
In the third, Miners’ starter Cain Lackey was rolling. After surrendering two base hits, the Thunder hit a couple deep fly balls that resulted in consecutive sacrifice flies.
The Thunder’s pitcher, Chase Hatada, was dealing all game.
The Miners offense had their chances against Hatada but left 11 runners on base. NU’s best chances came early in the game and late.
Defensively the Miners thwarted a couple more Thunder rallies in the fourth inning when catcher Andrew Schnitzius attempted a throw to second base to get a stealing runner.
Shortstop Weston Gaddis cut the ball off and threw home to catch the Thunder runner at the plate.
The next Rocklin batter hit a ground ball up the middle that went off of Gaddis’ glove. After that miscue, the Rocklin runner going to third took off for home. Miners second baseman Brendan McCarthy caught the tipped ball from Gaddis and threw home to cut down the Rocklin runner at home.
Despite some sparkling plays on defense and a pretty good performance by Lackey, the Miners could not pull down the victory.
The Miners play a doubleheader at Rocklin on Saturday.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.