NU gets baseball win at home |

NU gets baseball win at home

John HartDel Campo's Fran Erbeznik (6) beats out the throw to Nevada Union's Jared Van Matre Tuesday at Nevada Union High School. The Miners won the game 4-3.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Nevada Union’s baseball team played big Tuesday against Del Campo.

Big, even when the Miners were playing small ball.

NU, behind crafty pitching from Gary Daley and a three-run homer by Evelio Fleitas, popped its head above the .500 mark in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 home victory over Del Campo.

The win improves NU’s record to 12-11 overall, 8-8 in the Capital Athletic League.

The loss dropped Del Campo to 13-3 in the CAL, and potentially out of the first-place tie the Cougars held with Davis heading into Tuesday’s encounter.

“We have also beaten Davis, but that was early in the season and not as big as this,” NU coach Ted White said.

“With the win, we could potentially knock Del Campo out of a league title. And we earned it today. It wasn’t a case of them making errors; we outplayed them.”

Daley (6-2) found himself locked in a pitcher’s duel with unbeaten Del Campo right-hander Matt Couch (7-1) until a 1-1 tie was busted apart in the Miners’ half of the fifth inning.

NU’s Chris Brown led-off the fifth by poking a single to right field.

Brown then advanced to third on a Jason Gillard single to right. In stepped Fleitas, who had put away Del Campo’s last two outs in the fifth, including a snap throw to Jared Van Matre to pick a Cougar runner off first base.

With runners at the corners, Fleitas wasted no time jumping on the first pitch, sending a liner over the left field wall for a three-run home run off Couch.

“He is a stud,” White said of his senior catcher. “Evelio has played like that all year. He has been a leader for us, not only vocally, but by his performance behind the plate and with the bat.”

The Miners had little time to enjoy the three-run lead, however, for the top of the sixth left many a player and fan shaking their heads at the chain of events that led to the Miners needing to get five or six outs (depending on one’s perspective) before the Cougars were retired.

Twice the Miners thought they had the third out of the sixth inning, only to be called back to the field on overrulings.

The plays in question led to the bases becoming loaded, with Del Campo’s Jake Azevedo subsequently scoring on a wild pitch.

“I give our kids credit,” White said. “DC was a better team on paper, and with a couple of plays out of their control dictating the game, it could have left them with a helpless feeling. But they buckled down and got the fifth or sixth out to get out of it.”

Daley surrendered a home run to dead center that went off the glove of centerfielder Will Lindsey in the top of the seventh inning, but once again the right-hander his composure to retire the next two batters to secure the victory.

“Gary hit his spots today, using both sides of the plate and really changing his speeds well,” White said. “And that is what good pitchers do. With his change-up working, he got some big outs when we needed them.”

Del Campo struck first in the third inning when an Azevedo dribbler up the middle scored Brad Kester from second base.

But NU evened the game in the fourth inning. Justin Deme’ reached on an error, and advanced to second on a bunt single by Jason Snavely. Van Matre then sacrificed the runners to second and third base, before Cody Godfrey knocked in Deme with a single.

“It was fun,” Daley said. “We had nothing to lose today, came out and played solid defense and scored key runs when we needed them.”

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