Jesse Hildebrandt tossed a three-hit shutout to lead the Tahoe Twins to a 4-0 home win over the Reno Hustlers in the opening round of the Reno/Tahoe NABA playoffs Sunday.
The 6-4 right-hander was on his game, fanning nine hitters while allowing only one walk. He faced two batters above the minimum and needed only 100 pitches to get through nine innings.
While Hildebrandt mowed down opposing hitters, his offense supplied a run of support in the fourth and added three more in the fifth on 12 hits total.
Shortstop and leadoff hitter Bobby Habeger, who returned to the lineup after suffering from a knee injury in recent weeks, provided a spark with three hits and an RBI.
Steve Derby had an RBI on two hits, including a double, while Gabe Sandersius doubled and had two hits, and Kevin Decker had a double and RBI. Jesse Brown contributed a hit, RBI and two stolen bases, and Drew Lipnosky, Joe Thomas and Cory Munoz had a hit apiece.
The Twins (17-2) entered as the top playoff seed after winning the league title with a 16-2 record. The Hustlers were seeded eighth, at 7-11.
In the first game on Sunday, which was Fan Appreciation Day at North Tahoe Regional Park, the fifth-seeded Tahoe Braves were eliminated from the playoffs with a 9-0 loss against the fourth-seeded Reno Creepers.
The Twins will now host the Creepers, who improved to 12-6-1 with their win over the Braves, in the second round of the postseason on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. The Reno Assassins and the Reno Hornets will square off in the other second-round game.
Winners advance to the Reno/Tahoe NABA championship, which is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16, at North Tahoe Regional Park.