NIAA STATE BASEBALL UPDATE: Whittell falls to Yerington in five |

NIAA STATE BASEBALL UPDATE: Whittell falls to Yerington in five

Douglas Etten
Steve Puterski / Lahontan Valley NewsJulian Washelefsky delivers a pitch during the early innings of Friday's 18-8 Whittell loss to Yerington. The Warriors slipped into the loser's bracket with the loss and face Needles again at 4 p.m. Friday for a chance to stay in the title contention.

By Douglas Etten

LAS VEGAS – Yerington pounded out 11 hits in the first three innings. Fielding five errors defensively didn’t help Whittell’s chances at coming from behind any either as they dropped their second game of the NIAA 2A state tourney Friday 18-8 in five innings.

Julian Washelefsky wasn’t hurting himself any, but Yerington started catching onto his delivery as they started off the bottom of the second with five consecutive hits – accounting for four runs to give them a 10-6 lead.

After Alex Potnick came in to briefly stop the bleeding and retire the side, Whittell loaded the bases with no outs before they got an RBI ground-out from Taylor Weik. That brought up Ty Sprock who hit an absolute bullet to shortstop. That liner was stabbed for the second out by Cole Aizzi who then tossed to second where a helpless Jess Latta was doubled-off to get Yerington out of the jam.

They led of the bottom of the third with a single off Potnick started a small three-run rally for the top seed.

Potnick got stronger as the game progressed, registering six strikeouts and getting Whittell into the fifth down 13-7.

Whittell got one back there when Potnick knocked an RBI singled to make it 13-8. Cody Gibson would come in relief of Potnick in the fifth when Yerington used another two Whittell errors to end the game 18-8 in five.

The loss put Whittell back up against Needles in the 4 p.m. game Friday. The winner would advance to play Yerington for the 2A title while the loser would go home in third place.

Updates from the 4 p.m. game along with a possible re-match with Yerington Saturday may be found online at

Early inning lead

Alex Vogt – the hero on the mound in day one, opened the scoring Friday while Julian Washelefsky’s two-out bloop single scored two more runs in the top of the first and had Whittell out in front early 3-0.

Washelefsky was tabbed with the start on the hill for the Warriors who had already clinched a third place finish inside the 2A playoffs after Needles, who Whittell down Thursday, defeated The Meadows Friday morning 4-3.

With a Friday vs. Yerington Whittell would have guaranteed, at worst, a runner-up finish at State.

One error led to three unearned runs in the bottom of the first against Whittell.

Julian Washelefsky continued to pitch well though into the bottom of two, but the Warriors miscue in the first allowed Yerington to take a brief 5-3 lead into the top of the second.

Then in the top of the second, Whittell got things going again as Taylor Weik and Ty Sprock both walked in front of Alex Potnick. His ball to the outfield was misplayed, so after scoring Weik, both he and Sprock moved up a base for Matt Elliot who continued to swing the hot stick.

With two outs and the runners moving on contact, he grounded a ball through the left side of the infield to score two and give the lead momentarily back to Whittell at 6-5.

Thursday, May 19

LAS VEGAS – It was an errorless game defensively combined with a 10-hit day at the plate that has Whittell moving into Friday with a chance to put themselves one step closer to the championship game of the NIAA 2A baseball playoffs.

Their 7-2 win over top-seeded Needles matches them back up with Yerington Friday – the same Yerington team that defeated the Warriors twice in Lovelock a week ago.

Game time tomorrow at The Meadows High School in Las Vegas is set for 1 p.m.

Whittell never trailed Thursday as they got a huge day at the plate from freshman catcher Matt Elliott. He went three for four with four RBI’s. Backing it up on the hill was Alex Vogt who pitched six strong innings before giving way to Julian Washelefsky in the seventh.

“Basically Vogt was the story today,” Whittell coach Starbuck Teevan said. “He threw six solid innings and shut Needles down. Julian came in and did the same, getting all three batters in the seventh.”

Washelefsky came in with two runners on, no one out and the top of the Needles order coming to bat. The 7-2 cushion would hold up as he got the leadoff hitter on strikes, the got some help from Vogt at first who snared a hard grounder and pitched to Washelefsky covering for the second out.

The Needles three-hitter than came to the plate and looked helpless at Washelefsky who fanned him for the final out of the game.

Taylor Weik was solid all game long. The Warriors lead-off hitter was on base four times, and led-off the game for Whittell with a single – only to be pushed into scoring position by senior Alex Potnick, who was also on base four times Thursday.

Elliott then ripped an RBI-single to give the Warriors an early lead, though Needles came back and got one in the bottom of the second to make it even.

Going into the third it was Potnick again who led-off with a stand-up double that caromed off the left field fence. Elliott then came to the plate and ripped his second run-scoring hit of the day as he tripled to deep right-center, plating Potnick and giving Whittell a 2-1 lead.

After Matt Schorr walked, a perfectly-executed double steal scored Elliott from third to make it 3-1 Warriors going into the bottom of three.

Matt McAndrews – a fast lefty – kept things in check for Needles from there as he would retire nine batters on strikes and force Whittell to strand 12-base runners through seven innings.

Whittell made their 10-hits count though, as up 4-2 to start the sixth, Elliott reached base for the fourth time as he walked. That brought Washelefsky one batter later. He blasted a double into right which plated Elliott and made it 5-2 Whittell.

After Vogt worked through the bottom of six, Ty Sprock walked. That led to Devin Trescott coming in for Needles. Sprock stole second off the new Mustangs pitcher before Potnick was hit by a pitch to put two aboard. A passed ball put runners on second and third with no one out and brought Vogt to the dish. His RBI ground out preceded an Elliott squeeze bunt – scoring Potnick which made it 7-2.

Washelefsky then closed the door in the bottom of seven after two hard singles from the Needles eight and nine hitters had Starbuck Teevan lift Vogt – who because of the NIAA tourney rules will have five inning of work on the mound left.

He struck out ten Needles hitters while giving up just five hits in his six innings.

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