For the first time in 20 years, South Tahoe High School’s baseball team has qualified for the postseason.
“Our approach to the weekend is to win two games,” said head coach Starbuck Teevan. “It’s been an incredible season. We’ll take it one game at a time, try and win every inning and play our game. I think everybody in the tournament has the opportunity to win. It’s anybody’s ballgame.”
Elko and South Tahoe will square off at 10 a.m. Friday at the South Tahoe Middle School fields. It will be the first time the two teams have faced each other since March at the first three-game series of the season. The Indians took the first game 18-8, but the Vikings fought back and won the next two games 7-6 and 7-6 which started a 10-game win streak. The streak ended with a 9-6 loss to Lowry on April 12 and the team has gone 5-7 since. The Vikings qualified for the playoffs by winning the last game of the season, 10-7, against Fallon.
“We need to focus on putting the ball in play, throwing strikes and playing good defense,” said Teevan, who added small ball will be important for the team to move on.
Teevan is looking to captains Dominic Diana and Kolby Eymann to take charge through their first playoff appearance.
“Their job is to get everyone on the same page and lead the team. I just ask them to give their best,” Teevan said.
Diana is leading the team with a .547 batting average, 52 hits, 48 RBIs and accounts for three of the teams four home runs on the season. Eymann is just behind with a batting average of .467, 43 hits, 18 RBIs and leads the team in stolen bases with 15. Junior Dakota Lynch is in the mix with a .429 batting average.
Teevan was unsure about pitching for game one, but the team has combined ERA of 6.19 led by senior Liam Loftis. Loftis also leads in strikeouts with 30. Garret Harley, Sergio Burgueno, Dakota Lynch and Loftis have all been regulars on the mound along with an occasional appearance by Eymann.
“Hopefully the pitchers can throw strikes,” Teevan said.
The last time the Vikings made the playoffs in baseball was back in 1994 when Teevan was a junior at STHS. Then, the tournament was a single elimination and South Tahoe lost the first game to Wooster High School.
“At that point, in ’94, it was the first time we ever made the playoffs in school history,” Teevan said. “It’s nice to see South Tahoe baseball be competitive again.”
The No. 4-seed Vikings (16-13, 15-9) will take on top-seed Elko (20-8, 17-7) at 10 a.m. Friday morning followed by Spring Creek (18-11, 15-9) against Fallon (19-8-1, 17-7) at 12:30.