The table has been set for one final regular-season showdown.
In a Mount Rose League doubleheader filled with emotion Saturday, the South Tahoe and Truckee 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; South Tahoe is 5-6, with only the one game against the Wolverines, and Truckee is 4-4 in the DI-A, with four games remaining.
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.
Sergio Burgueno went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Dominic Diana added a two-run triple and came across the plate twice. Liam Loftis contributed a double and two runs. Mann and RJ Rivera went 2-for-3 with Mann knocking in two RBI and Rivera adding two runs.
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.
South Tahoe finished with 10 hits, led by Sharp and Mann, who both contributed two hits and an RBI apiece with Sharp smacking a double. Burgueno blasted an RBI triple, and Higgins contributed a clutch two RBI single. Christian Coats put down an RBI single and Loftis also contributed a 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 Vikings are now 11-11-1 overall, and the Wolverines are 11-11-1.
UP NEXT: South Tahoe is scheduled to host a non-conference game against Portola on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Vikings will then travel to North Tahoe for a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.