Bruins take second tie
Apparently for Bear River’s baseball team, what goes around truly does come around.
On Monday at Rio Linda, the Bruins finished in a tie after the umpire called the game due to darkness. Bear River coach Mike Viola let it be known that he didn’t agree with the call, saying the umpires called it too early.
On Thursday at home against Folsom, the Bruins fought back to tie the Bulldogs in the seventh inning. Both teams went scoreless in the eighth, and the umpires decided to try to go for nine as the sun fell behind the trees.
Folsom scored three in the top of the ninth, but with one out in the bottom of the frame the umpires again called the game, giving the Bruins their second tie of the preseason, 5-5.
But, Viola said, that’s where the similarities between the two tie games end.
“On Monday, we didn’t come out to play,” Viola said. “Today, we were playing in every inning. Today, we had quality at-bats. We were trying to execute on defense, but kept just-missing.”
Bear River committed five errors Thursday and gave up just two earned runs, but Viola said the errors were physical errors, not mental.
“I’m never going to get on them for trying too hard,” Viola said.
Folsom is a Division I school that, according to Viola, has three kids going to Division I colleges to play baseball.
Bulldogs catcher Brian Harris led off the second inning with a double, advanced to third when Alex Dominguez reached on an error and scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Bulldogs (2-2-1) put up two more in the fourth when Dominguez led off the inning by reaching on an error and, with one out, Harris also reached on an error. Both wound up scoring.
The Bruins (4-1-2) pulled to within one in the bottom of the frame off a two-run homer by A.J. Nuñez. Stephen Hilton led off the inning with a single, before Nuñez blasted one over the 340-foot sign in left field on the first pitch he saw that inning.
Folsom added one more in the fifth and another in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead heading into the last half-inning of regulation.
Bear River’s Brynn Beck reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the seventh and Vince Viola followed with a single while Austin French loaded the bases with a walk.
Chad Smith stepped to the plate and hit a single to pull the Bruins within two with no outs. Drew Loftus grounded into a fielder’s choice in which Viola was forced out at home for the first out. Leadoff hitter Brian Sibis struck out for the second out.
James McCririe, however, hit a clutch single to score French and Smith and tie the game.
The umpires and coaches then had a conference to decide whether to play the ninth inning.
It was decided to give it a try, and Folsom took advantage. After scoring three runs with two outs and runners on first and second, Folsom baserunner Luke Mazzanti purposefully ran into an out to get Bear River to the plate.
The Bruins’ Smith led off with a walk before Loftus popped out to the shortstop. Some fans were commenting they didn’t see where the ball went, and the umpires must have agreed, because the game was called due to darkness, and Bear River came away with the tie.
“There are a couple approaches you can take to nonleague games,” Viola said. “You can book a lot of schools that are down a level and build up your confidence. Or you can book a variety of teams. We booked some bigger schools and some that were about our size.”
And in a season that could have been considered a rebuilding year for the Bruins after graduating plenty of talent from last year’s squad, Bear River has jumped out to an impressive 4-1-2 record heading into Tuesday’s league opener against rival Colfax.
“We’re young in our minds,” Viola said. “We threw behind the runner again today. But we’re not going to use that as an excuse. This is varsity ball and we’re here to compete.”
To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
BRUINS 5, BULLDOGS 5 (8 INNINGS)
FOLSOM BEAR RIVER
ab r h bi ab r h bi
A.J. Perry cf 3 0 3 1 Brian Sibis lf 4 0 1 0
Nick Bartske ss 1 0 0 0 James McCririe ss 4 0 1 2
Tony Bongiovanni 3b 4 0 1 0 Stephen Hilton 2b 3 1 1 0
Jordan Kung-Gunion lf 5 0 3 1 A.J. Nuñez cf 4 1 2 2
Michael Quesada rf 5 0 0 0 Brynn Beck 3b 4 1 0 0
Brian Harris c 5 2 2 2 Vince Viola 1b 4 0 1 0
Alex Dominguez 1b 4 1 1 0 Austin French dh 3 1 0 0
Ryan Listberger dh 3 0 1 0 Chad Smith c 3 1 2 1
Matt Harris 2b 3 2 0 1 Drew Loftus rf 2 0 0 0
Matt Mizinski 2b 2 0 0 0 Brendon Casey ph 1 0 0 0
Justin Britt ss 1 0 0 0
Chris McGuane ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 37 5 11 5 Totals 32 5 8 5
Folsom 010 210 1 – 5
Bear River 000 200 30 – 5
DB – Folsom 1, Bear River 0. LOB – Folsom 17, Bear River 5. 2B – Harris. HR – Nuñez.
IP H R ER BB SO
Eric Nedeljkovic 5 2 2 2 0 7
Luke Mazzanti 3 3 3 3 1 3
Brandon King 3 2/3 4 3 1 2 1
Vince Viola 2 1/3 4 1 1 1 1
A.J. Nuñez 2 3 1 0 1 3
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