South Tahoe baseball sweep Sparks
April 5, 2017
The South Tahoe baseball team is officially out of its slump and on a streak. The team played at Sparks last weekend, March 31 through April 1, sweeping the Railroaders in a three-game series. The Vikings went 19-5, 16-4 and 16-0, respectively, in the Div. 1-A Northern League series. South Tahoe coach Starbuck Teevan said the wins have helped the players settle into their positions and get a feel for being a consistent team.
"Offensively we had a good weekend at Sparks," said Teevan. "It's something we've talked extensively about, being more consistent. We've improved in throwing more strikes, not committing so many mental mistakes and getting more production throughout the batting order. I hope to see us continue to grow as a whole and that will only happen by improving all the parts." South Tahoe is now 5-and-4 in league play.
Game one was a slow start for the Vikings, falling behind early in the first inning, 1-3, and struggling to get their bats warmed up. South Tahoe eventually caught up with Sparks' lead, bringing the game to a 4-4 tie in the fourth inning. Garrett Harley had a breakout performance in the game. The South Tahoe senior went 3-for-5 with three hits, three runs and four RBIs to help the Vikings mount a comeback. A couple of his runs came during the fifth inning offensive resurgence South Tahoe put together. They put four on the board that inning to Sparks' one, taking the lead with a little cushion at 9-5.
South Tahoe took full advantage of their momentum, putting up 10 unanswered runs in the sixth inning to end the game at 19-5. Sophomore Aaron Johnson batted .500 for the game, going 2-for-4 with two hits, three runs and two RBIs. Sophomore Kevin Lehmann helped the team keep pounding, going 2-for-4, with his two hits, two runs and three RBIs.
"We have a young group, only starting one senior," said Teevan. "Several sophomore's are getting valuable playing time."
Game two showed even more offensive consistency from the Vikings. After the team spent the first inning scoreless and down, 2-0, they came back with a vengeance in the second inning, putting 10 on the scoreboard. Junior Peyton Galli and Lehmann had back-to-back home runs that ignited a surge of hits from South Tahoe.
"Both Kevin and Peyton have big impacts in the lineup," said Teevan. "Hitting three and four, respectively, and anchoring the left side of our infield."
Galli ultimately went 2-for-3 in the game, with two home runs and seven RBIs. Lehmann went 2-for-4, with two hits, two runs and an RBI. It looked like the Vikings had given it all they had, adding no additional runs from the third inning through the fifth, but things eventually picked back up. South Tahoe held onto its lead with ease, adding one run in the sixth and five in the seventh. Junior Bryin Schouten showed what he can bring to the offense, going 2-for-3, with two hits, three runs and four RBIs.
Holding Sparks to only four runs, Teevan said that the teams defensive potential shined through in game two.
"Auston Burdick, a sophomore, was brought up from junior-varsity to pitch Saturday's first game and did a great job for us," said Teevan. "Once he settled in, he threw a very good game and allowed our defense to work." Junior Tyler Wattanachinda later closed the game for the Vikings to secure the win.
Game three saw both offense and defense come together to completely shutout Sparks. Galli pitched the entire game, allowing no runs and only one hit. The offense was still riding high off of the first two wins, carrying their batting performance over to game three.
South Tahoe racked up 16 unanswered runs by the third inning and the game was called. Lehmann had another standout performance for the day. He went 3-for-3, with three hits, one run and four RBIs. Galli went 2-for-2, with two hits, two runs and three RBIs. Right on par with Galli were Harley and Johnson, both going 2-for-2. Harley managed two hits, three runs and two RBIs, while Johnson came away with two hits, four runs and two RBIs. Sophomores Alex Kasper and Cameron Johnson rounded out South Tahoe's defensive efforts. Kasper had one hit, one run and three RBIs and Johnson had one hit, two runs and one RBI. South Tahoe is still holding steady, ranked sixth in the league.
"We're happy with the weekend results, but need to continue getting better," said Teevan. "Our next several games are very important in league standings."
South Tahoe will host the Truckee Wolverines for a three-game series April 7 through 8.
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