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Local roundup: A first for the Bruins

For the first time in school history, the Bear River baseball made it past the first round of the playoffs Saturday with a six-inning, 11-1 victory over Sonora.

Last year’s squad went 22-1 heading into the playoffs and was loaded with talent, but got a tough draw in the first round of the playoffs and fell 4-2 to Vanden.

“It’s all about the draw,” Bear River coach Mike Viola said. “Last year we got Vanden, and they had a tough pitcher who’s pitching at Sac City this year. That was a tough draw.”



This year the Bruins (18-6-2) didn’t put up as good of a record through the season, but they accomplished something no past team was able to do -advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

“These kids have been telling me all year that they’re probably not going to go 22-1, but they’re going to win on Saturday,” Viola said.




Viola said many alumni showed up for Saturday’s game.

“They were texting our players telling them to do what they couldn’t,” Viola said.

The Bruins now face Center today at 7 p.m. at Dan McAuliffe Ballpark in Sacramento and again at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the same place. If the two teams split those two games, another game will be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The winner of that best-of-three series will face either Placer or Oakdale in the finals on May 28 at American River College for the section championship.

In its second game of the season, Bear River traveled to Center and won 12-5 in early March.

“They didn’t have all their guys that game,” Viola said. “Some were still playing hoops and I think some missed with grades. This will be a whole different team. They’re a good team with good players and they can swing the bat.”

The Bruins also beat Placer twice this season, 3-2 at Placer and 9-3 at home. Bear River hasn’t played Oakdale this season.

The Bruins trailed 1-0 on Saturday after the first inning but pitcher Brandon King didn’t allow another run the rest of the way. The one run King did give up was unearned. He gave up six hits and no walks while striking out four.

According to Maxpreps.com, Bear River scored two in the first, one in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and five in the sixth to end the game early on the 10-run rule.

The Web site had James McCririe leading the way going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a run scored. Drew Loftus was 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Bryan Sibis and Chad Smith were both 2-for-3. Sibis scored three times while Smith had 2 RBIs and a run scored. Brynn Beck was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a run. Austin French and A.J. Nuñez also tallied hits.

NU advances three to Masters

The Nevada Union track team will send three competitors to the Master’s Meet at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento.

Chase Dixon qualified in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300 hurdles while Cole Stanford and Dominic Ruggiero earned spots in the triple jump.

According to NU coach Jim Worthy, Chase will compete in the trials on Wednesday to try to earn a spot in Friday’s finals. Stanford and Ruggiero, however, will compete in both the trials and finals on Friday.

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Coaches may submit Local Roundup items by contacting The Union Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at brianh@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4240. Deadline for submissions is 10 p.m.


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