Mount Shasta lost a first-round home playoff game to Pierce of Arbuckle 8-3 Friday to finish its 2015 season with a 16-8 overall record.
Some of the mojo that carried the Mount Shasta Bears to seven wins in their last eight league games was missing in Friday’s first round section playoff game.
The No. 3 seeded Bears had home field advantage, and they hoped the cool mountain weather might work in their favor against a team from the valley that had to travel 170 miles due north on Interstate 5.
Instead, an 8-3 loss ended Mount Shasta’s season, while Pierce of Arbuckle, the No. 6 seed, advances to play No. 2 Durham in one of Tuesday’s Northern Section Division 4 semifinal games.
Mount Shasta senior pitcher Pierce Nebiolini “threw a heck of a game,” said assistant coach Chuck Mahan, who filled in as head coach for the day.
“He’s been doing that for us all season,” the coach said of Nebiolini, who allowed just five hits. “He didn’t deserve to take the loss.”
The Bears made a few mistakes in the field and managed just five hits of their own off two good Pierce pitchers.
Nebiolini’s sixth-inning double that bounced once before hitting the right-centerfield fence brought home Abe Radabaugh with Mount Shasta’s second run.
Down 4-2 with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Nebiolini’s pitch count was mounting, but the Bears needed just one more out to come in for their final at-bats trailing by 2.
It wasn’t to be, as Pierce added 4 runs without a hit in the inning, and Mason Brooks took the mound to get the final out.
Radabaugh, a junior, went 2 for 3, including a well-struck first-inning double to deep left-centerfield on which he was thrown out trying to turn it into a three-bagger.
Senior second baseman Tanner Mathis and junior catcher Cedar McRee had the Bears’ other two hits.
Sophomore Chris Cheula ran for McRee after his fifth-inning single and came around to score thanks to an error that allowed freshman Kaimana Ferguson to reach base, a fielder’s choice ground ball, and a wild pitch.
Ferguson was safe on a throwing error in the seventh and scored the Bears’ final run on a ground out by leadoff hitter Parker Page.
The Bears, who finished tied for second in the Shasta Cascade League, close the book on their 2015 season with a 16-8 overall record.
"It was a good year. I'm proud of them," Mahan said of the Bears. "They never gave up. We hit a low point against Etna, then won seven of our last nine games. They fought hard."
Pierce, which tied for second in the Sacramento Valley South League, takes a 14-14 record into the semifinals.