A shorthanded Truckee baseball team rallied from an eight-run deficit late in its league contest at Sparks on Tuesday only to fall one run short, 9-8.
Sparks built a 9-1 lead after scoring three runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth. The Wolverines stormed back with a six-run uprising in the sixth to narrow the score to 9-7. Truckee scored once more in the top of the seventh to pull to within a run and had the potential winning run on second base before the Railroaders ended the threat.
Truckee fell to 1-3 in Division I-A play while Sparks (1-5) picked up its first league win.
“They showed me some heart,” Truckee coach Mike Ellis said of his team, which played without five starters who are out of town for spring break. “We almost won with our second string.”
Senior Riley Guiragossian started on the mound for the Wolverines and ran into trouble in the middle innings. “He wasn’t himself,” Ellis said. “Too many walks.”
Truckee’s offense came through with 11 hits to the Railroaders’ eight. Sophomore Bradley VanSchoonhoven swung a particularly hot bat, Ellis said, as he hit “two rockets” that went for a double and a single and drew two walks, one intentionally. D.J. Barbato also delivered at the plate, as he drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double during Truckee’s six-run sixth inning.
Guiragossian helped his cause with a single and a double, while Nico Gardella, a foreign exchange student from Argentina, had two hits, Connor Nicholas hit a couple of deep shots and finished with two RBIs, Joey Gravell had a hit and played solid defense at first, and Johnny Spaich legged out an infield single and stole a base. Ty Vaio also contributed a hit and an RBI.
Austin Garrick went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Railroaders, while Alejandro Villegas was the only other Sparks player with more than one hit.
Truckee is scheduled to host a league doubleheader against South Tahoe at Truckee River Regional Park on Saturday, conditions permitting. Games start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.