PREP BASEBALL: Miners will host Rio Americano in first round; Bruins head to Linden for opener
FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
No. 8 Nevada Union (16-12) vs. No. 9 Rio Americano (19-9), 4 p.m., Tuesday
No. 5 Bear River (14-16) at No. 4 Linden (13-9-2), 4 p.m., Tuesday
Not only is the Nevada Union baseball team back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Miners will be hosting a first round game on their home diamond.
The Sac-Joaquin Section’s baseball playoff brackets were released Friday with the Miners grabbing the No. 8 seed in the 16-team Division III bracket. They will face No. 9 Rio Americano at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Bear River’s baseball team is also playoff bound, but will start on the road. The Bruins are the No. 5 seed in the D-V bracket and will travel to face No. 4 Linden. Divison V has an eight-team bracket.
The Miners (16-12) earned the No. 5 seed after placing second in Foothill Valley League play. NU is led by a strong pitching staff which includes Nick Noll (4-2, 1.48 ERA), Bennett King (3-2, 2.56 ERA) and Matt Deschaine (5-2, 1.99 ERA).
From the plate, the Miners have solid offensive weapons in Noll (.418 batting average, five home runs, 24 RBIs), Matthew Tintle (.318 BA, 18 RBIs), James Nolen (.310 BA, 10 RBIs), Evan Hicks (.284 BA, 17 RBIs) and Zach Erlich (.254 BA, 12 stolen bases).
Rio Americano finished the regular season with a 19-9 mark overall and tied for third in the Capital Athletic League.
“We worked really hard to get here,” said Nevada Union head coach Ted White. “Now, we want to have a good showing. We’re not satisfied just making it. We want to make a long run of it.”
The Bear River Bruins (14-16) are in the playoffs for a second straight season. The Bruins finished third in the Pioneer Valley League and will face a Linden team that went 13-9-2 overall and placed second in Sierra Delta League.
It was the Lions from Linden who eliminated the Bruins from the playoffs a season ago.
This year’s Bear River squad is a hot-hitting one that boasts a team batting average of .337. Leading the Bruins is Nathan Van Patten (.410 BA, three home runs, 22 RBIs, 28 stolen bases), Cole Winters (.479 BA, 12 doubles, 43 RBIs), Colby Lunsford (.478 BA, 23 RBIs, 25 stolen bases) and Damian Christen (.371 BA, 21 RBIs).
Bear River’s ace pitcher is Colton Jenkins, who has multiple complete game victories this season.
The Bruins and Lions face off at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Linden High School.
For a complete look at all the Sac-Joaquin Section baseball playoff brackets visit http://www.cifsjs.org.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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