PREP BASEBALL: Miners struggle to score, get swept by Oakmont |

PREP BASEBALL: Miners struggle to score, get swept by Oakmont

Going up against the top team in the league is never an easy task— especially when their defense, pitching, and hitting is at its best.

Nevada Union (6-7, 2-4 Foothill Valley League) couldn’t manage to score on Oakmont (14-1, 5-1) in the three-game series, dropping games in 7-0, 9-0 and 10-0 fashion.

“Oakmont is definitely legit,” Nevada Union head coach Ted White said. “They are probably the top team in the league and if you don’t score runs against a team like that, you are not going to win.”

For the Miners, if there’s one thing to take out of the last three games, they definitely had their chances.

“When we didn’t get any runs in those two innings, that’s a momentum shift,” White said. “If we were able to put up a few of those runs, I think it would’ve been a different game. (Our team) just needs to learn how to compete and put the ball in play.”

Nevada Union in game two of the series on Thursday — and the first game of the day — had a pair of bases-loaded opportunities in the fourth and last inning, that resulted in all runners left on base.

In that first game of the day, Oakmont jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the first inning via a pair of two-run singles. Playing from behind is something the Miners have struggled with all season, going 1-6 when the opponent scores the first run.

Oakmont pitcher Kai Peterson in the win went on to throw six shutout innings, striking out eight. In a losing effort, Miners pitcher Bennett King had four strikeouts.

Going into the series finale with a fresh start, the Miners still couldn’t capitalize. They allowed Oakmont to get another early lead with a pair of RBI singles to take a 2-0 lead after one.

On the hill for the Miners in game two was Matt Deschaine. He would go on to last five innings while striking out a pair of Vikings. Facing Deschaine in that game was Viking’s ace TJ Nichols— who is committed to Sacramento State. Nichols proved to be a nightmare for the Nevada Union offense only allowing three hits in six shutout innings while striking out 12.

“Oakmont had some guys with great arms out there,” White said when asked about Oakmont’s pitching. “We have to learn as a team how to make adjustments and put the ball in play. If we do that, I think we will be able to compete in this league.”

While the Miners bats were cold, Oakmont’s were hot. In the two games played on Thursday, the Vikings had a total of 26 hits.

“(Oakmont) definitely has some guys that can swing the bat,” White said. “For the most part I thought (our pitching) did a really good job. I was proud of the way Bennett and Matt threw today.”

The lack of hitting and scoring runs was something the Miners did not struggle with last week in a series versus Placer. The Miners put up 18 runs in the three games they played versus the Hillmen. The outburst of offense allowed Nevada Union to take two of three from Placer.

The Miners (6-7, 2-4 Foothill Valley League) will look to bounce back next week when they take on Ponderosa.

“Our team just has to figure it out,” White said when asked how the team moves forward. “Every game in our league is going to be a challenge and we have to come out to play. (Our team) has the talent to compete but we just have to perform on the field.”

Cameron Salerno is a freelance sports writer. Follow him on Twitter @camsalerno23.

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