The Tahoe Twins moved into first place in the Reno-Tahoe National Adult Baseball Association (NABA) after splitting a league doubleheader against the second-place Reno Bandits on Sunday.
The Twins also defeated the Chico Sugar Kings 14-9 and 8-7 in a pair of nonleague games Saturday. They are now 9-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.
The Tahoe Braves, meanwhile, defeated last year’s league champs, the Reno Hustlers (2-7), by a score of 6-4 to improve to 5-2 on the season.
After losing the first contest 8-3, Truckee grad J.R. Murphy threw a complete-game, two-hitter to lead the Twins to an 11-1 rout over the Bandits (8-2) in Game 2.
Murphy allowed only one walk and one unearned run while striking out five in seven innings (the game ended early on the 10-run rule). Murphy improved to 4-0 and has yet to give up an earned run in four starts. He has 37 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Twins shortstop and leadoff man Bobby Habeger led the way offensively with three hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs. Jamy Habeger and Randy Jansen (two hits) each drove in two runs, while Gabe Sandersius had three hits and an RBI, Cory Munoz had two hits and an RBI, and Scott Decker had three hits, including a double. Steve Derby and Joe Thomas each contributed a hit and RBI, and Drew Lipnosky had a double.
The Twins gave up six unearned runs in Game 1 of the doubleheader as starting pitcher Nate Pudwell took the loss.
Thomas and Munoz each had two hits, Munoz a double, and Sandersius, Jamy Habeger and Munoz each drove in a run. Derby legged out a triple.
After 10 games, Derby leads the Twins with a .560 batting average and, with his home run, four triples and three doubles, a 1.120 slugging percentage. Thomas is hitting .520, Munoz .519, Sandersius .452, Jansen .444 and Decker .400. Munoz and Sandersius have a team-high 12 RBIs apiece.
The Braves, who are in third place among 10 teams in the Reno-Tahoe NABA standings, received a solid start from Dayton High grad and current Lassen College pitcher Logan Garling to earn their win.
Two North Tahoe grads from 2010 provided an offensive spark to help lift the Braves to victory. Zack Tomlinson drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Chris Cahill went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and knocked in an important insurance run in the ninth.
Both the Tahoe Twins and Braves are made up mostly of former North Tahoe and Truckee high school players. Former North Tahoe coaches Bob Habeger and Jack Bernardo manage of the Twins and Braves, respectively.