EL DORADO — Union Mine jumped on visiting Liberty Ranch pitching early and often, recording an extra base hit in all six offensive innings en route to a 12-5 victory in Monday’s Sierra Valley Conference varsity baseball game.
Sophomore infielder Sean Tow ended a three-run first inning for the home team with a strikeout, tossing his bat to the ground in disgust. But he soon had something to smile about. Stepping up to the plate in the following inning, Tow took a fastball out of the yard to push Union Mine’s lead to 10-0.
Diamondback starting pitcher Walker Neville kept the early advantage intact, going four innings with six strikeouts and three runs allowed before handing the ball over to the bullpen.
At the plate, the hitting was contagious among the D’backs as Neville enjoyed one of his better hitting games of the season, going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“We really hit the ball well, especially in the first three innings. We used the other side of the field well also.” Union Mine coach Rob Freeman said.
Third baseman Chris Beck made it look easy at the plate, finishing his day on a 4-for-4 note, complete with two doubles and an RBI for the D’backs.
“He’s one of the best hitters on our team and he had a great day. He has great balance at the plate.” Freeman said.
Elsewhere on a Union Mine squad that posted an impressive 15 hits, first basemen Tyler Leal made the best of a pair of at-bats, going 2-for-2 with a double alongside outfielder Derek Saich, who scored two runs on a 2-for-3 day highlighted by a deep line drive double into the right-center gap that scored one.
Utility man Jon Wong pitched the seventh for Union Mine, briefly igniting the Hawks’ hopes for a big comeback with an erratic four-pitch walk that kept catcher Shane O’Leary on his toes. Wong then struck out the next three batters in a row on 13 pitches to close out the relatively easy victory for the D’backs.
This was the second convincing victory for Union Mine over the Hawks in as many games and a nice win for seniors Wong, Beck, Neville, Saich, Kyle Blakney and Stephen Tindell, who played for the last time on their home field.
With just two away games left on the schedule against River City and El Dorado, the D’backs hope to close their season on a strong note.