Prep roundup: Miners beat Bruins in walkoff fashion
NU’s Chase Nye comes through in the clutch with game-winning RBI hit
The first ever official high school baseball game between Nevada Union and Bear River was a thriller.
The two Nevada County teams opened a three-game series on Tuesday with a riveting bout that ended with the Miners storming their home diamond in celebration of a 6-5 walkoff win.
“I’m getting too old for this,” longtime Nevada Union head coach Ted White said with a smile. “…It was a great game. Two very evenly matched teams. You can definitely tell there’s a cross-town rivalry going.”
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the winning run 90 feet away, Nevada Union’s Chase Nye stepped to the plate. The sophomore second baseman fell behind in the count 1-2 but remained steadfast in his approach. Nye fouled off several pitches in the at-bat before lofting a base hit into shallow center field to bring home the game-clinching run.
“I was just fouling it off until I made good contact and was able to put it in play,” said Nye, who went 2-for-5 in the game with two RBIs. “It was great (to get the win). It was definitely tough competition and a good game all the way through.”
The Miners never trailed in the contest and took their first lead in the third inning when sophomore outfielder Lucas Mackey smacked the ball into the left centerfield gap for a two-RBI double. The Miners added one more in the inning to take a 3-run advantage.
NU extended its lead to 4-0 in the fourth after an RBI base hit from senior catcher Kolby Amaral, who finished the game 1-for-1 with an RBI, three walks, a run scored and two stolen bases.
From the bump, NU’s freshman pitcher Keisen Hayden kept the Bruins in check for much of the game. The hard-throwing lefty tossed five innings, allowed just one hit and three unearned runs while striking out eight and walking three.
The Bruins started chipping away at NU’s lead in the sixth inning, tallying their first hits of the game and plating three runs.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, Nye poked a one-out base hit into left field to score Timmy Dion from second and put the Miners up by two.
Bear River continued to show its resilience in the top of the seventh, scoring two more runs to tie it up. Christian Kohlbeck opened the inning with a walk. Senior shortstop Colby Lunsford then bounced one through the infield for his second hit of the game. Senior Nick Baltz then brought Kohlbeck home with a base hit. Lunsford scored the tying run soon after on a Daniel Bamburg RBI groundout.
The Bruins had a runner on third with just one out and were threatening to take the lead, but Nevada Union pitcher Ryder Celenza was able to halt the rally with back-to-back strikeouts. Celenza, a freshman, then led off the next inning with a walk and later scored the winning run on Nye’s base hit.
“Sometimes I get frustrated that (our record is) 6-7 and that’s the competitive part in me, but then I have to realize we have four freshman and two sophomores, and we’ve been in every single game this year,” said White. “They’ve been thrown in the fire, but they’re doing it and they are growing up in a hurry.”
Bear River head coach Russell Brackett, a former NU player and assistant coach, said he was proud of the way his team battled back.
“We made some mental mistakes, some physical mistakes, but I’m proud as hell,” Brackett said. “Bottom line, you come to someone else’s yard, and they know some of the kids, a little nervous, but they came out and competed every single pitch. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Brackett did acknowledge it was a bit strange being in the “visitor’s” dugout.
“Just standing on this side was weird,” he said. “It’s nostalgic, though. It’s fun to come back and see everything and be reminded of all the things you did as a player and a coach. It’s just great to bring a team that gives everything they got, because that’s the way I played and what I’m always trying to instill in the kids. I tell them you can’t bring the scoreboard home with you, but you can bring your effort on the field and everything you gave home.”
The Miners (6-7) and Bruins (6-3) are set to face off again Thursday at Bear River. They close out their series Friday at Nevada Union.
Miners top Vikings in straight sets
Nevada Union’s girls volleyball team toppled the Vikings from Oakmont in straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-17) Tuesday.
Leading the Miners was senior Kailee McLaughlin, junior Kayda Kinch, junior A.J. King and junior Delaynee Dunbar. McLaughlin tallied eight kills, two blocks and three digs. Kinch added four aces, two kills and 11 assists. King doled out 10 assists and notched three aces. And, Dunbar accounted for seven kills in the win.
Nevada Union is now 2-1 on the season. Next up is a home match with Ponderosa Thursday.
BOYS WATER POLO
Nevada Union edges past Bear River
The Miners and Bruins battled it out in the pool Monday with the water polo team from NU emerging victorious, 11-9.
It was a hard-fought contest all the way through. The score was tied 4-4 at the half. The Miners jumped ahead 8-6 after the third quarter and held on down the stretch.
Leading the NU charge was Joe Pardini with seven goals. Jackson Witt added three and Si Moorehead chipped in one.
Strong defensive efforts came from Ronan Hunt, Ryan Crabtree J.P. Drew, Caleb Eli and Moorehead. Goalie Ethan Keller Jr. came up with six critical blocks and three steals.
Miners can’t keep up with Vikings
Nevada Union couldn’t keep pace with the Oakmont Vikings Tuesday, falling 55-45, at Albert Ali Gymnasium.
The Miners trailed by four after one quarter and were down 25-19 at halftime. Oakmont outscored NU, 15-9, in the third to push the lead to 12. The Miners scored 17 points in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to erase the deficit.
Leading NU was junior post player Milo Gohring with 24 points.
The Miners get back on the court Thursday with a road game against Ponderosa.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com.
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The Sac-Joaquin Section girls volleyball playoffs get rolling this week and the Miners are once again invited to the party