Merlo’s bat carries Cougars

By From page A8 | April 30, 2014

spo louis morro

LOUIS MERLO, pictured earlier this season, accounted for over half of the Cougars' offense in its win at Union Mine Monday. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

EL DORADO — Mike Green pitched a complete-game, seven-hitter and Louis Merlo led the offense with four hits, a home run and four RBIs as visiting El Dorado doubled up Union Mine 8-4 Monday afternoon.

The victory gave the Cougars a season sweep of the D’backs. El Dorado is currently in a battle with Cosumnes Oaks for second place in the Sierra Valley Conference.

The Cougars scored once in the first, twice in the second and two more in the fourth to lead 5-3. Merlo, with three singles, drove in three of the five El Dorado runs and also scored himself.

Union Mine hung in as Austin Rigsby and Brendan Hunter hit back-to-back first-inning doubles; RJ Blake and Joe Pedretti hit third-inning two-baggers; and Rigsby drew a bases-loaded walk to force in John Creason in the fourth.

After Creason’s RBI, Green escaped further trouble by inducing a Zach Culp-to-Ryan Rodriguez-to-Michael Weston double play.

“Weston made a nice pick on that play … if he doesn’t that’s one run and maybe more,” Cougar coach Rusty McDonald said.

Weston walked and scored in the fifth and Merlo and Rodriguez completed their afternoons with sixth and seventh-inning solo home runs, respectively.

“Those gave us some breathing room,” McDonald added.

Union Mine scored its last run in the fifth to stay close after Brendan McKillip singled in Nate Brown.

On the mound for the D’backs, Blake started, Greg Allowy pitched two and two-thirds inning and Colton Lamson a third.

“Just couldn’t get the hits with guys on when we had scoring chances,” Union Mine coach Brett Robinson said. “And the double play killed us.”

Matt Smith was 2-for-4 for the Cougars with a double. Pedretti had two hits for the D’backs.

Jerry Heinzer

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