Yuba baseball falls to Laney in 13 innings
Another close on for 49ers goes the other way
With four walk-off victories and 10 games decided by two runs or less, the Yuba College baseball team has become accustomed to playing tight games this season.
On Thursday, it was more of the same.
With defending Bay Valley Conference champion Laney coming to town, the 49ers had a golden opportunity to maintain their place atop the BVC standings and were a strike away from winning their fourth consecutive game.
However, a two-out, infield single by Laney in the top of the ninth sent the game to extra innings and the Eagles rallied for four runs in the top of the 13th to hand the Niners an 8-4 loss in a four-hour marathon at Appeal-Democrat Park in Marysville.
Failure to produce with runners in scoring position came back to haunt Yuba as the 49ers stranded 15 runners on base while seeing a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning go to waste.
"We had the chance to get the two-out hit, we just didn't clutch up when we had the opportunities," said Yuba coach Brian Baisch. "It's a disappointment, because I think we're better than that."
Laney (8-10, 3-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by catcher Kenny Chavez in the third and kept Yuba off the scoreboard until the sixth.
Ethan McGill was hit by a pitch and came around to score on an RBI single by Ryan Pope to open the scoring before Michael Frantz gave the 49ers (12-7, 5-2) the lead with a two-run double to deep right-center field.
Tyler Kreditor stretched the lead to 4-2 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and with right-hander Tim Catalano looking strong over two innings of relief, Yuba seemed to have the game in the bag.
An infield single by Erik Penrose with two down in the eighth cut the margin to one and it was more of the same in the ninth when McGill came on to record the save.
McGill gave up a lead-off single to Todd Burgos, but got a pair of flyouts when Taylor Jones came to the plate. Jones fouled off a pitch with two strikes before hitting a comebacker on a 2-2 pitch that caromed off McGill, allowing Burgos to race home with the tying run.
Neither team scored over the next three innings until Laney recorded four hits to score four runs off Brandon Lockwood, Yuba's fifth pitcher of the game. Samuel Nieves delivered the biggest blow with a two-run double, Byron Buckley plated another with a bunt single and the Eagles added the final run on a fielding error to complete the scoring.
"In a game like this, that's how it's going to end — either on an error or by stringing hits together," said Laney coach Francisco Zapata. "It was a hard-fought game and I'm glad to be on the good end of this one."
The Niners had 10 hits in the game with Pope, Lockwood and Dustyn Macaluso finishing with two hits apiece to lead the offense.
Timmy Zucco got the start for Yuba and allowed two runs and five hits over six innings of work before leaving with 104 pitches.
Catalano allowed one run over two innings, McGill allowed one over three innings and Taylor Cabral threw a scoreless 12th for the 49ers, who will look to regroup when they travel to play second-place Mendocino on Saturday.
"It's like they like playing tight games. We haven't put teams away, and if we're going to be a good team, we have to do that better," Baisch said. "The good thing is we get to play again. We have Mendocino coming up next and we need to come ready to play or we'll have another loss."