The table has been set for one final regular-season showdown.
In a Mount Rose League doubleheader filled with emotion Saturday, the Truckee and South Tahoe baseball teams split the pair, with the Vikings blowing open the first game in the middle innings en route a 10-0 win and the Wolverines outlasting the hosts, 11-8, in the nightcap.
The Division I-A rivals will square off one more time at Aces Ballpark on April 30 to end the regular season, with possible homefield advantage in the postseason on the line. Playoff seeding is based on records within the Division I-A; Truckee is 4-4 in the DI-A, with four games remaining, and South Tahoe is 5-6, with only the one game against the Wolverines.
Game 1 on Saturday began as a pitchers’ duel between Truckee’s Erik Holmer and South Tahoe’s Jordan Mann, both of whom held the opposition scoreless through four innings.
Holmer ran into trouble in the fifth, however. The Vikings scored five runs, highlighted by a two-run home run by Cody Higgins off of the storage container beyond right field.
The Vikings were not done. They scored five more runs in the sixth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
Truckee managed just five hits off of Mann, who struck out five and walked three in six innings. Chris Towle went 2-for-3, while Holmer and Teagan Pado each had one hit.
Following the home run by Higgins, Holmer fired a pitch behind the back of Tyler Sharp. He then hit Mann with a pitch.
The Wolverines committed three errors in the game.
In Game 2, South Tahoe jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and held it through four innings, before Truckee exploded for a seven-run fifth. Truckee added a run in the sixth and another in the seventh, while South Tahoe scored four times in the bottom of the seventh to make it close.
Riley Guiragossian started and earned the win for the Wolverines. The junior went 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk.
The Wolverines finished with 14 hits, led by Aaron Pado’s 3-for-4 game with three RBIs. Thor Retzlaff went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Towle had two hits and an RBI, Travis Ferre had two hits, and Andy McKechnie, Gavin Broad, Jackson Rohlf and Teagan Pago each had one hit.
Each team committed three errors, with Truckee’s coming early in the game and South Tahoe’s coming late.
Truckee coach Mike Ellis found himself riled up on a couple of occasions, once in the fourth inning when Aaron Pado was picked off of first and the coach thought he was safe, and then again in the fifth when Holmer hit a Texas-leaguer to right field with the bases loaded but was called out on the infield fly rule.
The Wolverines are now 11-13 overall, and the Vikings are 11-11-1.
Truckee is scheduled to play a Mount Rose League game at Sparks on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Wolverines then host Sparks on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.