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No rallies to be found for Placer

Hillmen fall to 2-4 in league play as Center’s timely hitting, clutch pitching are too much to overcome at James Field
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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The Placer High players and fans were waiting for a spark all afternoon Tuesday at James Field. But every time the Hillmen attempted to get a rally ignited, Nick Rebello and Center were there to snuff it out. Placer now has an uphill battle to make the postseason after a 5-1 loss to the Cougars. The Hillmen fell to 2-4 in the Pioneer Valley League and are in fifth place in the league standings. Rebello kept Placer hitters guessing for six strong innings. He gave up just four hits and struck out six. The Hillmen were shut out until Kevin Giles’ RBI-single in the sixth inning scored Austin LeBleu. But Placer left the bases loaded when Rebello picked off a runner at second base. The Cougars chipped away at Placer starter A.J. Sanchez as star Nathan Lukes did much of the damage. Lukes put Center on top with an RBI-single in the first. He added an RBI-double in the third and another in the fifth. Carter Oill added a pair of RBI-singles for the Cougars, who pounded out eight hits and didn’t commit an error. Sanchez gave up seven hits in five innings of work. Giles pitched well in relief. The left-hander struck out four in two innings and gave up one unearned run. Kevin Harcus was 2-for-4 with a double to lead Placer at the plate. Austin LeBleu was 2-for-4 and Eddie Vanderdoes added a double, but the Hillmen could not string together rallies as they did often in winning the River City Classic tournament last week. Placer sits in fifth place in the PVL with a tough series of games looming. Placer will get another crack at Center on Thursday as ace Ryan Mason takes the mound in Antelope. Next week the Hillmen face Colfax twice and they have a pair of games against Bear River to close out the month.