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Bruins Baseball Speeds Into Another Playoff Run

Patrick Nichols
The team gathers before facing Rosemont.

Another season, another playoff run.
Bear River baseball’s amazing season has resulted in the playoffs for the second time in three years. The program’s growth reflects the outside work that the team has put in.
Led by head coach Russell Brackett, the varsity team won their first 10 games, including a league sweep of Marysville. They then went on to win the Charter Division Two bracket of the San Diego Lions Tournament over spring break.
Although that trip started off rough, with the Bruins being dealt their first loss, they came back and 10-runned every team during the tournament. After returning from San Diego, Bear River went into a new league series with Colfax.
They won their first game at home with Kaden Nicholls on the mound that game.
“I trust in my defense and let off a little to throw more strikes,” Nicholls said.
Because of scheduling issues, Bear River had back-to-back games — sweeping Colfax and then facing a formidable Twelve Bridges the next day with a tired pitching staff.
Bear River fell short in the bottom of the seventh, giving up a walkoff single.
After being swept by Twelve Bridges, their next opponent was Wheatland, which they split with on a walk-off bunt to win 1-0 at home.
Their next series was against Sutter, where the Bruins won the first game 3-2. However, the next gamethey faced a tough loss with a few errors and a lack of focus.
But this is where the team thrives.
From the beginning of Brackett’s coaching at Bear River he has preached culture — a team that wins and loses together, has respect for each other and the other team, and plays the game with a purpose.
This has brought tremendous growth to the program. With multiple ups and downs throughout the season the team has never wavered.
While most teams are focused on making big plays and doing the big things right, the Bruins focus on the small things. A big piece of this is due to the team’s youth and only having three seniors.
Something the Bruins do have is speed, which they use to their advantage. Their biggest focus is attacking the ball, and using speed to steal and bunt.
“I’m ready to steal whenever, I trust that my coach is making the right call and I just go all out,” junior Ben Barley said.
The team’s chemistry is unique, with a wide variety of grades which typically wouldn’t mix — three sophomores are a huge piece of the team Seamus Mckeown starts at third, Brayden Estrada is the starting catcher and Nicholls pitches and plays first base.
This is a plus of being a smaller school — more opportunities to play — but also having more opportunities for coaching. If you drive by the field on any given Saturday or Sunday, you can often see players putting in extra work.
With all of this the Bruins hope to make a deep run in the playoffs and win their first section title.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Berry
Cooper Berry, Staff Writer
Cooper Berry is Bear River student and baseball player. He's a life long Giants and 49er fan. Cooper's in his junior year at Bear River and hopes to continue his baseball career into college.
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