Whittell baseball shocked at Mineral County, suffers first league losses | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell baseball shocked at Mineral County, suffers first league losses

Anthony Gentile

HAWTHORNE, Nev. — The Whittell baseball team's unbeaten run in Div. IV Northern League came to a shocking end Saturday. The Warriors were swept in a doubleheader at Mineral County 14-5 and 3-2, losses that brought an end to a nine-game winning streak to start league play.

Whittell (19-4, 9-2 IV Northern) played without a pair of starters in Saturday's losses, and head coach Devin Ruby said the Warriors couldn't come up with timely hits in the defeats. Mineral County (7-9, 6-4) has now won four of its last five to stay in contention for one of the league's last two playoff spots.

In the opener Saturday, the Warriors lost 14-5 to taste defeat in league play for the first time this season — Whittell's previous two losses came against California opposition in the Greenville Tournament. The Serpents capitalized on six Whittell errors on the way to victory.

The Warriors scored two in the third inning, one in the fourth and two in the sixth in the first game. Whittell did all its scoring on only two hits — four of the team's runs were unearned.

Starter Nic Buchholz threw all six innings for Whittell in the loss. The freshman allowed 14 runs (seven earned) on eight hits with nine walks.

In the second game, Whittell fell to the Serpents in a 3-2 defensive struggle. A strong effort from starting pitcher Colton Ruby went wasted as the Warriors couldn't produce enough offense to avoid the sweep.

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Ruby threw all six innings in the second game, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. Mineral County scored its three runs in the first three innings of the second game, including a pair in the bottom of the third on two hits, a walk and an error.

Whittell opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first, and added a run in the top of the sixth. Buchholz went 3-for-4 in the loss and Sam Berry was 1-for-2 with an RBI — Peyton Galli and Troy Libert each finished 1-for-3.

With the losses, Whittell needs to sweep league-leading Virginia City (14-2, 12-0) on the road Saturday to have a chance at the Div. IV Northern League championship. The Warriors will likely finish no worse than second place in league.

Whittell returned to action Tuesday at Smith Valley. The Warriors conclude the regular season with a doubleheader at the Muckers on Saturday — the first game is scheduled to start at noon.