Damonte Ranch blanks South Tahoe in opening game of Gorman Classic | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Damonte Ranch blanks South Tahoe in opening game of Gorman Classic

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Even in Las Vegas, the South Tahoe High baseball team couldn’t get away from chilly temperatures and playing a Sierra Division rival.

Damonte Ranch blanked the Vikings 11-0 Wednesday in the opening game of the Gorman Classic. The 8 a.m. start and cooler-than-normal temperatures in Las Vegas kept the team in their customary long-sleeve shirts.

South Tahoe (6-12 overall) fell behind early as the Mustangs scored two runs in the first inning against Vikings’ starter Max DeLallo. DeLallo lasted 3 1/3 innings as Damonte built a 7-0 lead through four.

“Max’s slider was working well. He had trouble locating his fastball,” said STHS coach Matt Tillson.

Derek Holmgren and Tanner Braun pitched in relief. Holmgren missed the first part of the game after a foreign substance became lodged in his eye Tuesday night, and he needed to be treated in an emergency room early Wednesday morning.

Gary Prescott’s double was the Vikings’ only extra-base hit. Ricky Braun and Matt Marsh delivered base hits, and Jamie Yelles reached on a bunt single.

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STHS’s best opportunity to score came in the first inning with runners on first and second bases. But one of the Vikings missed a hit-and-run sign, and Damonte later recorded an inning-ending double play on a hard smash hit to short by DeLallo.

“We know we can beat them. The kids are confident in that. It’s just a matter of us getting ready for the game,” Tillson said.

The Vikings’ defensive gem of the game was performed by second baseman Ricky Braun. With the bases loaded and two out, Braun left his feet and stretched out to snare a blooper in the outfield.

“It was an unbelievable catch, an ESPN highlight,” Tillson said. “They would have gotten two more runs for sure.”

The Vikings will remain in Las Vegas at least through Friday. On Thursday, they are scheduled to play Vauxhall Baseball Academy of Canada at 8 a.m. and Irvine (Calif.) High at 11 a.m. STHS will play at either 8 or 11 a.m. on Friday.

The Vikings are staying upbeat about their changes of adding to their victory total while in Las Vegas.

“It’s the little things,” Ricky Braun said. “We just have to get it all working in one game. Normally, we have guys doing good, but we can’t get it all together.

“Hopefully we can get a couple of wins. It will be good for us.”

After visiting Hoover Dam on Wednesday, the team is planning a trip to the Adventure Dome at Circus Circus on Thursday and taking in a Las Vegas 51s Triple-A game on Friday night.