Prep baseball: Nevada Union downs Del Oro in walk-off fashion
Special to The Union
Nevada Union erased a late four-run deficit in exciting fashion Friday afternoon, as Sam Powell hit a walk-off single to down league rival Del Oro, 6-5.
After two quick strikeouts left NU down to their last out and no runners on in the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Weston Gaddis was the last hope for a team that had spent three innings clawing their way back from a certain loss. A single from Gaddis extended the inning for Brock Grininger (3-for-4), who followed suit with a one-bagger of his own to move the tying run into scoring position. The comeback seemed in doubt when the ensuing batter, Kross Corbett, hit a blooper into right field. But a poor throw from the Golden Eagles infield got past first baseman Dalton Heryford, allowing Gaddis to tie the game. Powell followed close behind, wasting little time with one last single to cap off the surprise victory.
The Golden Eagles looked well on their way to a sweep in the three-game series after tacking on three runs to extend their advantage to 5-1 in the top of the fifth. Senior Joe Raymond (1-for-2) provided the highlight at-bat, coming away with an inside-the-park home run after two of NU’s outfielders collided hustling to grab his deep shot to center field.
But the Miners declined to panic, using base hits from Grininger, Tim O’Sullivan (2-for-3), and Andrew Schnitzius (one RBI) in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap and set up an exciting final inning.
“We were preaching that good teams find ways to win, and to just go out there and compete,” said NU coach Ted White. “And, to give effort from the first pitch to the last pitch was huge,”
NU’s pitching clamped down in crunch time, bolstered by the efforts of reliever Jonathan Finau. The senior did not allow a hitin the last two innings, impressively registering three strikeouts in a row during a quick 1-2-3 outing for Del Oro in the top of the sixth.
Before their bats came alive, NU struggled to find any kind of offensive consistency, waiting until the third to reach base for the first time and the fourth to notch their first hit. Kyle Yamada pitched the first four innings for Del Oro and was dominant for most of them, striking out one batter and holding the Miners in check before allowing three straight singles and a run to begin the fourth.
For NU, it’s an important win after coming up short in a 3-2 loss on Monday and a 4-1 defeat on Wednesday, both against Del Oro. The three-game series served as the opening of league play for the Miners, and nabbing at least one of the games was a must, according to White.
“We had to (win). We had played well throughout the game, you know, so we could have carried (ourselves) on that. But to actually come back and pull it out; it’s huge for our confidence. We don’t want to go in next week 0-3. It’s huge, and they beat a real good team today,” White said.
JV: Del Oro 5, Nevada Union 0
The Miners couldn’t get things going Friday and it cost them the series with SFL foe Del Oro.
The Golden Eagles took the rubber match between the teams and with it, the series 2-1.
The Miners mustered just two hits coming from Gary Menary and Tanner Wirick.
Wirick pitched the first 4 2/3 inning for NU, giving five runs. Ben Powell pitched the remaining 1 1/3 innings allowing one hit and no runs.
Nevada Union is now 1-2 in the SFL with Woodcreek on the schedule for Monday.
Spencer Kellar is a free lance writer that contributes to The Union regularly.
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