EL DORADO — Three Union Mine pitchers held down Golden Sierra in all but one inning Friday, adding up to an 8-2 nonleague win for the host Diamondbacks.
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Offensively, Union Mine scored all the runs it needed with a five-run first inning as Brenden Hunter (3-for-4, 2 RBIs), Brendan McKillop and Austin Helmholz (double ) drove in runs. Nate Brown scored on an errant throw and Joel Pedretti (double) stole home.
On the mound, Mike Buhman started and went three innings, Will Ybright pitched the next three and Bailey Phillis closed.
“Our pitching has been real consistent and overall we’re a better defensive unit but we need to learn to put people (teams) away,” D’back coach Brett Robinson said. “I would have liked for us to be a little more ahead in the count (today) and had a better approach at the plate.”
After a rough start, the Grizzlies received stellar long relief from Tony Ceirante who held Union Mine to an unearned run over the next four innings.
“He’s always around the plate and throws strikes,” Golden Sierra coach Greg Thompson said of his freshman reliever. “He just got tired at the end and the mechanics started to falter. Offensively we had guys on but just couldn’t capitalize.”
In the sixth, RJ Blake and Hunter were aboard with singles and both scored on Ronnie Hartje’s two-out single through the left side.
Golden Sierra scored twice in the second. Beau Burgess (2-for-3) singled, Dakota Haddock walked and Burgess scored on Carter Lencioni’s single to left. After Cameron Stephens walked, Brayden Ellis (2-for-4) reached on an error to get Haddock in but the D’backs escape in turning a double play.
The Grizzlies had two aboard in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings but failed to get the big hit. Jeff Klahn added a double for Golden Sierra.