Nevada Union baseball falls to Whitney in non-league action
The Nevada Union baseball team was right in the thick of its Tuesday non-league matchup with Whitney – until the final inning.
The Wildcats (2-0), fresh off their 13-2 drubbing of Bear River Saturday, sent 10 batters to the plate and got three two-run doubles in the top of the seventh to beat NU, 11-3.
The big inning came at the expense of NU pitcher Nick Eccarius, who had been stellar up to that point.
Eccarius came in to relieve Cody Gardner in the fourth and was pitching well, allowing just two base runners through his first three innings of work. But two-run doubles by Whitney’s J.R. Robinson, Trevor Abrams and Jacob Erickson in the seventh put the game out of reach for NU.
“(Eccarius) was tough through the first three innings he was in there,” NU head coach Ted White said. “He was hitting his spots but then started to get the ball up a bit. “That’s the thing about Nick. He’s not going to overpower you, he’s got to spot the ball, and he’s usually pretty good about that, but it’s early.”
The Miners’ senior righty Gardner took the loss, pitching three innings and allowing four earned runs and six hits. Gardner didn’t give up a walk from the mound and went 1-for-3 with a run scored from the plate.
“When (Gardner) hit his spots, he looked really good,” White said. “When he was in his rhythm, he looked really good. The only time he got hit hard was when he started to get the ball up, and I just think that’s just having to get out here, get innings in, build arm strength and leg strength and build on it. It’s not like he came in and got lit up. He looked good.”
Whitney was led, both at the plate and on the mound, by Robinson. The senior righty got the win, throwing four innings, striking out three and allowing seven hits and three runs. From the plate, Robinson was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
NU got strong plate appearances from junior catcher Dylan Conger with a pair of singles and a run scored, left fielder Jakob Freele, who had a single and knocked in a run, center fielder Zach White, who added an RBI, and right fielder Ryan McCarthy, who went 1-for-2 and reached all four times he batted.
On a chilly day where the sun peaked out from behind the clouds occasionally, NU showed glimpses of an improved team from last season’s 6-19 campaign, but it also showed it has quite a way to go.
The Miners (1-1) turned three double plays, made three errors and totaled five hits. NU also stranded eight batters in total, at least one in every inning, got caught stealing, made an error on a pick-off play and let a Whitney player score from third during a run down.
“I really liked that we turned three double plays. That’s huge,” White said. “I think at times our pitching looked really good, and at times, they struggled, but I think for us it’s just getting in, playing the games, getting our work in and building on it. There’s a lot of good to build on, and there are things that tomorrow we will talk about.”
The Miners get a day off before hitting the diamond again Thursday at Rio Americano.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14