“Forty Two” is a baseball movie set in the ‘40’s, but Lampe Park in mid-April often means baseball in the 30’s — fahrenheit, that is.
A sparse crowd of Warrior faithful huddled against the cold, westerly winds and an occasional snowflake, but were suitably rewarded as they witnessed Cody Gibson and Matt Elliott combine for a 3-hitter and a 7-1 Whittell win over Smith Valley on Tuesday afternoon. The victory gave the Warriors and first-year coach Thomas Hunter their sixth win on the season, eclipsing last year’s total with at least six games remaining.
The Warriors looked snappy in the field, not only in their prom-white vests with throwback lettering and numerals, but also with the leather. Infielders Avery Laub, Robbie Poet, Chris Evans and Quinn Kixmiller handled every chance without error. Right-fielder Alex Barnes added a fine running catch to prevent what might have been a big fifth inning for Smith Valley.
Gibby started strong for Whittell on the hill. The stylish southpaw struck out the side in the first and retired the first nine batters he faced.
Offensively, Whittell got all it needed in the first inning. Jake Sharp led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on an error after Elliott singled. Later, Gibson plated Elliott with a sac fly to make it 2-0 Whittell.
But the Bulldogs stayed close. Starting pitcher Gustavo Tholke threw well enough to keep the score at 2-0 into the fourth inning. He struck out the side in the second and would fan eight Warriors in all before giving way in the sixth inning.
Kevin Baker broke up Gibby’s perfect game in the fourth with an equally perfect bunt single down the third base line. The ‘Dogs scored their only run later that inning on a bases-loaded hit batsman after another hit and a walk.
Ahead just 2-1 in the home half of the fourth, the Warriors gave Gibby some breathing room. Barnes reached on an error, Kody Dangtongdee was hit by a pitch and Evans earned a fielder’s-choice RBI. A second run scored on a Bulldog miscue and Elliott knocked in a third with a blistering single to left.
5-1, Warriors, after four complete.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases again in the 5th inning, but Whittell’s defense stiffened and Gibby gutted his way through without allowing another run.
In the sixth inning, Elliott spelled Gibson on the mound and Whittell put the game out of reach with another 2 runs, courtesy of a walk to Evans and consecutive singles by Sharp, Poet and Elliott.
For Whittell, Gibby wound up with seven Ks, allowing only two hits, but five walks and a hit batsman. Elliott retired six of the seven Bulldogs he faced, striking out four. He also led the Warriors at the plate with a 4-for-4 day including a double, three RBI and a run scored.
Baker was the Smith Valley star of the day with two hits and heads-up play at second that helped the ‘Dogs in getting their two double plays.
Whittell is competing well against schools close to its size, but playing up in class has proven tough – especially when facing the likes of Truckee, defending 3A state champs. The Warriors did what they could, but fell to the Wolverines 26-2 and 27-0 in a mercifully quick weekend double-header.
Poet rapped 3 hits including a double, Laub, Sharp, Elliott and Marcus Forschler also knocked hits for the red and gold during the twinbill.
Warriors drop North Tahoe road game
The North Tahoe baseball team routed the visiting Warriors 10-0 in a Mount Rose League matchup in Tahoe Vista on Wednesday.
North Tahoe sophomore Mitchell Myers started on the mound and gave up only four hits through five innings, as the game was called on the 10-run mercy rule after the Lakers pushed across a final run in the bottom of the fifth.
Lucas Early, Wildon DeLauriers, Colin Spencer, Mitchell Meyers and Mike Johansen all contributed RBI hits for North Tahoe.
Myers was on his game, as he recorded 12 strikeouts and walked only two. He also helped his cause at the plate, leading the Lakers with a 3-for-3 day with a double, triple and four RBIs.
Jake Sharp was on the mound for Whittell and was pitching with control, limiting the Lakers’ walks. The Warriors’ defense was also relatively error free, but the North Tahoe was finding holes.
Offensively, Whittell’s Cody Gibson, Matt Elliott, Alex Barnes and Robbie Poet all contributed singles, but the Warriors were unable to put it together for a run.
UP NEXT: Whittell will host North Tahoe for a Saturday doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Lampe Park. The softball team will host North Tahoe at Whittell High School at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.