13U Miners rally to take Northern Regional title | TheUnion.com

13U Miners rally to take Northern Regional title

Front row from left: Justin Houlihan, Luke Cornish, Cody Jiannino, Logan Butler (mascot), Jace Wheeler and Ryan Solomon. Back Row from left coach Will Butler, Kyle Felhaber, Ty Trathen, Owen Day, Clay Corippo, Matt Hayward, Sam Hopper, coach Sean Solomon, manager Scott Wheeler.
Scott Wheeler/courtesy photo |

The Nevada County Miners 13U baseball team traveled to the Big League Dreams baseball facility in Manteca for the Northern Regional Championships and came home with the title.

The Miners started their championship run with round-robin play Friday morning against the Central Valley Cobras.

Sam Hopper started on the hill and was greeted by a strong-hitting club. The Cobras plated nine runs in the first two innings while the Miners went scoreless.

Cody Jiannino relieved Hopper in the third, and the Cobras kept scoring, putting another four on the board for a 13-0 lead.

Matt Hayward got the Miners going in the third, leading off with a single. Walks by Justin Houlihan and Luke Cornish loaded the bases. Jace Wheeler also walked, plating the first Miners run. Kyle Felhaber followed with a triple, clearing the bases. Hopper singled and was followed by a Clay Corippo walk. Ty Trathen followed with a double, plating two more runs. Houlihan singled and scored in the fourth, making the final (time limit) 13-9.

On Saturday, the Miners were matched against the Carmichael Colts in their first of three Saturday games. Trathen toed the rubber for the Miners and held the Colts scoreless through 3 2/3 innings. The Miners got on the board first as Jiannino led off the fourth with a walk and came around to score on a Hayward double. The Colts answered, scoring two in the fifth off of Day. Ryan Solomon relieved Day and held the Colts scoreless in the top of the sixth. The Miners tied it in the bottom half as Felhaber singled, stole second and scored on a Hayward single. The Colts put it away in the seventh, scoring five runs on a couple of errors and three walks.

Needing a win to stay alive, the Miners were once again matched against the Cobras. Corippo toed the rubber and was masterful. He pitched a complete game, giving up six hits and no runs while striking out five. The Miners defense solidified as they were error free and made several defensive gems, highlighted by a diving grab on a blast to right field by Day. They also played solid defense up the middle with Solomon, Wheeler and Felhaber turning 4-6-3 double plays in back-to-back innings. Corippo got all he needed in the first as the Miners plated three runs. He led off the rally with a single and scored on a Felhaber triple. Hayward then singled, scoring Felhaber. Both offenses stayed quiet until Hopper tripled with one out in the fourth. He scored on a Houlihan sac fly, scoring the final run in the 4-0 win.

Still needing a win to guarantee a spot in the Sunday morning championship, the Miners took on the Colts, who sat at 3-0. Felhaber started and went 1-2-3 in the first, striking out two. The Miners scored a run in the first on two walks, a hit batsman and a Colt error. The Colts took the lead in the second, scoring three. They plated another two in the third before Felhaber was relieved by Hopper.

Hopper held the Colts hitless for the remainder of the game, giving his offense a chance to recover. Down 5-1 in the fifth, Felhaber scored as he singled and was plated by a Hopper triple. The Miners then erupted for seven in the fourth, taking an 8-5 lead. Cornish got the rally going with a single. Jiannino then walked, and Day singled. Corippo was hit by a pitch, and Felhaber doubled, picking up two RBIs. Hayward then singled, and Hopper doubled. With the 8-5 win, the Miners moved into the Sunday championship, facing off against the Colts again.

Trathen got the call as the starting pitcher in the championship game. The Colts came out swinging as they plated two in the first on three hits.

The Miners answered with three of their own. Solomon started the rally, reaching on a dropped third strike. Corippo singled, and Felhaber walked, loading the bases. Two runs scored on ground-ball outs. Houlihan then singled, plating the third run of the inning and giving the Miners a 3-2 lead after one.

The Colts kept the pressure on, scoring three in the second and moving ahead 5-3. The Miners scored one in the third as Corippo singled, stole second and scored on a Felhaber single. Once again, the Colts answered, plating another two more in the fourth and moving ahead 7-4.

Houlihan led off the fourth with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a Trathen single, and the Miners trailed 7-5 after four.

Trathen held the Colts scoreless in the fifth, and the Miners gained momentum. Day reached on an error to lead off the bottom half of the inning. He stole second and went to third as Solomon reached on a fielder’s choice. Both scored as Felhaber bounced one over the fence for a ground rule double. Hayward followed with a double, plating Felhaber and giving the Miners an 8-7 advantage after five. The Miners held the Colts scoreless in the sixth, but also failed to score.

Houlihan came on to close in the seventh, needing three outs to preserve the win and send the Miners home with the championship. After two quick ground-ball outs, the lead-off batter reached on a strikeout/dropped third strike. Houlihan proceeded to strike out the next batter, sending the Miners home victorious.

The Miners are made up of players from the local Little Leagues: Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley and Bear River.

The Nevada County Miners 8U baseball team played in its first tournament at Big League Dreams field in Manteca. It faced strong competition all weekend but continued to play hard and gained valuable experience. Nevada County Hardball provides kids ages 7-14 the opportunity to play a higher level of competitive baseball. For information, email nevadacountyhardball@gmail.com or visit http://facebook.com/nevadacountyhardball.

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