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Nevada Union can’t tie down running Casa Roble squad

Vince Vosti

For the first five innings Thursday, Casa Roble’s lead-off hitter reached base.

For the first three innings, Nevada Union found a way to get starting pitcher Justin Deme out of the jams. Then the Miners’ fortune ran out, and Rams baserunners just ran.

Casa Roble, behind four RBIs from Bill Rhinehart and a strong pitching performance by sophomore Mickey Weisser, defeated host NU 7-1.

With the loss, NU drops to 8-7 overall, 4-4 in the CAL. Casa, the defending league champs, improved to 11-4 overall, 6-2 in league.

“Casa really swings the bat well,” NU coach Ted White said. “We had a couple of double plays, which were huge, but we left a couple of pitches up, and you can’t do that to a good hitting team.”

The two Miner double plays ended two baserunner threats by Casa in the first and third inning. In the second, Casa left the bases loaded when NU starter Justin Deme struck out the No. 9 hitter, then got lead-off hitter Charles Smith to hit into an inning ending fielder’s choice.

But in the fourth, Casa cashed in another opportunity in a big way. A.J. Vidlund led off the inning with a single, advancing to third on a one-out double by Mike Ashley. Josh Thompson knocked in Casa’s first run with a sacrifice fly, then Smith singled to center, knocking in Ashley to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.

Casa’s Nick Uhde drew a walk to keep the rally alive, then Rhinehart drilled a two-RBI to left-centerfield to give Casa a 4-0 lead and knock Deme from the hill by inning’s end. The Rams picked up a run in the fifth before Rhinehart’s two-run homer to right field finished the afternoon’s scoring.

While Casa managed nine hits in the first four innings, NU struggled to solve Weisser, tallying just five hits for the game.

“The tempo was set today by (Weisser) throwing strike after strike, and our defense made plays behind him” Casa Roble coach Jerry Crews said. “He threw 90 pitches today, and 60 of them were strikes. He truly is the crafty lefty people talk about.”

In the fifth, Miner Cody Godfrey reached base on an infield hit and advanced to third on a double to left-centerfield by Jared Van Matre. Third baseman Gary Daley then knocked in the lone Miner run with a sacrifice fly to center.

NU’s Jason Snavely reached base for the second time to open the sixth inning, and Chris Brown doubled to open the seventh inning. In both cases, however, the runners were stranded.

Though NU has lost to Casa twice this year, they will get another chance to get one back when they face the Rams on the road Saturday.

“For the first part of the season, we’d have a couple of good games, then a couple of bad games,” NU catcher Evelio Fleitas said. “Now, we are starting to settle down a little bit more. Today, we didn’t win, but we played pretty solid. From here out, I don’t think we’ll have too many shaky games.”


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