Wednesday afternoon at Ted White field, the Nevada Union baseball team wrapped its up-and-down season with a 10-4 loss at the hands of this year’s Sierra Foothill League champs, Woodcreek.
The Miners played the Timberwolves even for much of the game, but a big sixth inning by Woodcreek was the difference.
The Timberwolves scored eight runs on five hits, three walks and two errors. They sent 13 batters to the plate in the sixth, eight of whom were batting with two outs.
NU had maintained a 3-2 lead up until that point.
The Miners got their runs starting in the first inning when Jakob Freele advanced to third after a Matt Paruszkiewicz single, and then scored after a throwing error. NU scored again in the second when senior Ryan McCarthy scored on a Dylan Conger ground ball. McCarthy had opened the inning with a standup double.
The Miners made it 3-2 in the fourth with a Zach White bases-loaded walk. But then NU’s run production stalled. NU wouldn’t get another hit until the seventh inning, when White led off the seventh with a base knock, then stole second and third base before coming home on a Travis Hansen single.
Taking the loss on the mound for NU was McCarthy. It was only the senior’s third loss of the season. McCarthy, who has been a varsity player for three years, finished the season with a 5-3 record, including a sub-two ERA and 38 strikeouts to 13 walks.
“He’s grown tremendously,” NU head coach Ted White said. “He was pretty raw when he got here and had a little bit of an attitude and was too hard on himself, but he’s grown into a pretty solid baseball player and a solid young man.”
Wednesday was Senior Day for NU as it bid farewell to seven graduating Miners.
NU senior shortstop Nick Eccarius, who batted .312 for the season, is one of many seniors Ted White said will be greatly missed.
“The thing about Nicky is he’s going to give you everything he has on every pitch,” he said. “He’s done a great job for us and will do anything for us. I mean he pitched seven innings yesterday and came up to me today and said, ‘Coach, I’m good to go.’ He’s just a gamer.”
NU senior third baseman Hansen said it will be tough to walk away from this team but that he will continue to play next season at Consumnes River College.
“Really good group of guys, I love everybody on the team and would do anything for them,” Hansen said. “It’s tough, they are all really good friends of mine, but I’m not done playing baseball so that’s good.”
Joining Hansen at Consumnes River College will be second baseman Paruszkiewicz and senior first baseman and pitcher Cody Gardner.
“We formed a brotherhood out here, and it will be tough to say goodbye,” Paruszkiewicz said. “This season had its ups and downs, but overall, it was fun. We had a couple tough games, but we did a lot better than we did last year, and I just liked being out here playing with these guys.”
The Miners lose seven seniors as McCarthy, Gardner, Paruszkiewicz, Hansen, Eccarius, Zach White and Kyle Upton all graduate.
“We’re going to miss the seniors,” Ted White said. “We had great senior leadership. They were guys that played the game the right way and they will be tough to replace.”
The Miners close the season with an overall record of 13-14 and an SFL record of 6-9.
Nevada Union 4,
Woodcreek 3 10 inn.
Nevada Union started off hot against Woodcreek on a soggy NU field Wednesday, then rallied to win late.
Dalton Maxwell got things started with a single and was driven in by a Brock Grininger double. Jordan Jiannino doubled, trading spots with Grininger, to make the score 2-0 after one inning.
NU’s starting hurler, Chris Sardo, cruised through the Woodcreek hitters early.
In the fifth inning, the Miners struck again when Grininger got on base on a Woodcreek error.
With two outs, NU’s Sam Powell drove in Grininger with a single and an important insurance run.
But the wheels fell off NU’s defense in the top of the seventh. Woodcreek scored two runs off of two NU errors.
Unwavering, Sardo dug deep. With a rubber arm, Sardo went all 10 innings. Sardo struck out 16 Woodcreek hitters while only walking two. In the 10th inning, the Miners went on to strike gold. Maxwell led off with a single and was 2-for-5 in the game. NU put the hit-and-run on, and Grininger delivered the walk-off special, ringing a double deep into left field scoring Maxwell.
The game ended with confusion regarding ground rules and Grininger’s hit being ruled a ground-rule double that would have prevented Maxwell from scoring. After a brief discussion, the umpire ruled in NU’s favor, and the victory was sealed.
NU (11-14-1, 5-9 SFL) plays its final game against Woodcreek today on NU’s varsity field.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.