Key hits continue to elude Vikings in series finale vs. Manogue
Three Bishop Manogue High hitters drilled home runs as the Miners completed a three-game Sierra League baseball sweep of South Tahoe 12-1 on Monday at Todd Fields.
Devonte German, Justin Farley and Matt Vial belted home runs to lead the Miners to their ninth league win.
South Tahoe, which dropped to 0-15 in league, was again plagued by failing to knock in runners in scoring position. The Vikings stranded a runner on third base in three of the first four innings and were unable to push across a run in the first inning with Ricky Braun on third base and Tanner Braun on second with no outs.
Vikings’ senior hurler Matt Blank pitched six strong innings, allowing just six hits, but eight errors were committed behind him. Blank registered five strikeouts, including three in the third inning.
Blank bounced back from a trying outing against Truckee last Monday at Aces Ballpark. He was unable to get an out against the Wolverines while struggling with his command.
That command was in place Monday as Blank kept the Miners off balance by mixing in a healthy dose of curveballs with his fastball.
“It felt good. I had all of my pitches down,” Blank said. “I talked to Max (DeLallo) before the game and he said they didn’t really hit his curveball, but they roped his fastball (on Saturday) … just try to keep them off balance. I used that (strategy) a lot.”
German put Manogue ahead 1-0 by taking a 3-2 Blank offering over the right-center-field fence for a solo homer in the second inning. The Miners put together their most successful inning against Blank in the third. Taylor Burkett hit a RBI single after a double by Niles Lujan, then Justin Boman delivered a two-out, two-run base hit to center field to make the score 4-0.
In the fifth, Blank struck out the Miners’ 2-3 hitters to get out of a one-out bases-loaded jam with only one run scoring.
South Tahoe got its only run off of Ben Hewson in its half of the fifth inning, when Jamie Yelles doubled over the left fielder’s head, stole third and scored on Rigel Garman’s infield single.
“It’s always a bummer when you can’t back up a pitcher when he has a good performance,” said South Tahoe senior shortstop Tanner Braun. “That’s something we definitely need to work on.”
Manogue completed its scoring on Farley’s solo homer in the sixth inning and a six spot in the seventh, which was helped by two walks, two passed balls and three errors. Pinch-hitter Vial’s two-run homer to left center capped the final inning.
Tanner Braun collected three of the six hits allowed by Hewson, who struck out seven and walked two in going the distance. Kent Rowland provided a pinch-hit single to right field for the Vikings in the seventh inning.
“I was just sitting on his fastball early in the count, just looking to drive it back up the middle,” Tanner Braun said. “He was throwing fastballs early in the count, and he had a good breaking pitch.”
STHS (6-19 overall) plays host to North Valleys on Thursday in a nonleague game.
“We should be able to take one or two games against the next couple of teams, but only if we score runs, though,” Blank said.
Cody Higgins got the only hit off Manogue pitching in the South Tahoe JV’s 20-0 defeat Monday in its home opener.
Andrew Noll and Joebacci Zanetell rapped two hits for the Vikings in 7-4 and 16-2 losses to the Miners on Saturday. After a rough start, STHS pitcher Tyler Sharp settled down to pitch a complete game in the opener.
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