TRUCKEE — The Wolverines got the best of the visiting Lakers in both games of a Mount Rose League baseball doubleheader Saturday, winning 5-1 and 5-2.
“It would have been nice to get a game or two from them, but Truckee is a good team,” said second-year North Tahoe head coach Matt Drury. “They’re better than their record indicates.”
Truckee (8-12), which was in need of a couple of wins after going 0-4 in the Lake Shasta Bass Tournament during the week, received 14 solid innings out of three different pitchers, while its offense came through with plenty of run support in its home openers.
The Lakers (6-6) didn’t pitch poorly themselves, with two complete-game efforts. They simply could not muster enough offense or catch the breaks needed to take down their longtime rival.
A couple of senior horses took to the hill in the first contest, with No. 1 starters Erik Holmer for Truckee and Colin Spencer for North Tahoe squaring off in a battle of big right-handers.
Both ran into early trouble before settling in, as Holmer was tagged for a run in the top of the first inning and Spencer gave up two in the bottom of the first. Runs were tough to come by through the middle innings, however, as Spencer overpowered Truckee hitters and Holmer kept the aggressive-swinging Lakers off-balance while pounding the strike zone, and keeping his pitch count to a minimum.
Holmer finished with just 82 pitches in a seven-inning complete game, with four strikeouts, five hits and a walk. He threw only 22 balls versus 60 strikes.
“Erik threw a great game,” said Truckee head coach Mike Ellis. “He threw strikes, and that was huge. He’s been lights out all year for us.”
His offense had him covered from there, as the Wolverines padded their narrow lead with a run in the third and two more in the sixth to create some breathing room.
“We played tight,” Ellis said. “Colin Spencer is a really good pitcher. He’s lights out. We knew he has good stuff. But we put the ball in play, and that was big for us.”
Spencer finished with seven strikeouts in six innings. He walked five and gave up only three hits. Only two of his five runs allowed were earned, as North Tahoe committed four errors in the game.
“Colin pitched well. He settled down and had a good stretch there,” Drury said.
Spencer and sophomore catcher Mitchell Myers teamed up give the Lakers their early 1-0 lead, as Spencer reached on a single and Myers drove him in with a double in the gap.
The lead was short-lived though. Truckee leadoff man Aaron Pado walked to open the bottom of the first and Chris Towle reached on an error, which set up a two-run double by Andy McKechnie.
Truckee scratched another run across in the third when Jackson Rohlf walked and scored on an RBI single by Holmer. The Wolverines scored two more unearned runs in the sixth.
Thor Retzlaff had the only other hit for Truckee. Spencer went 2-for-3, while Alex Bourriague and Lucas Early each had a hit for the Lakers.
Pado made the play of the game in the top of the third inning when he chased down a high pop fly in shallow left field and hauled in basket-style, with his back completely turned to home plate.
Game 2 remained close in the early innings, with Truckee scoring once in the first inning and North Tahoe matching it in the second, before the Wolverines broke it open with a four-run third.
Junior Riley Guiragossian started for Truckee and earned the win. In four innings, he allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. McKechnie threw the final three innings in relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks, and striking out three.
Junior Wildon DesLauriers started and went the distance for the Lakers, and was effective through most of his outing. He ran into trouble in the third, however.
Pado led off the inning with a solo blast over the fence in left field — his first of the season. Towle followed with a double and McKechnie reached when he hit the catcher’s glove on a swing. After DesLauriers struck out Rohlf swinging, Retzlaff drove in two runs with a solid hit. Holmer then drove in the fourth run of the inning with a hit-and-run single.
Truckee picked up its run in the first inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by McKechnie, while North Tahoe pulled even in the second when Lucas Early drove in Shane Christian with a single.
Towle went 3-for-4 with two doubles as Truckee managed nine hits off of DesLauriers, who recorded six strikeouts along the way and walked two.
Spencer was 2-for-3 to lead the North Tahoe offense. Myers had a double and Early and Bourriague each contributed a single.
The Truckee softball team also was scheduled to host a doubleheader against North Tahoe on Saturday, but the Lakers forfeited with not enough players, said Truckee athletic director Jaime Legare.