North Tahoe sweeps Whittell
TAHOE CITY, Calif. – The Lakers’ top two hurlers delivered a couple of gems against visiting Whittell to wrap up Mount Rose League play Saturday.
Junior Colin Spencer recorded 17 strikeouts en route to a 3-1 win in the first game, while senior Brendon Arnold fanned eight hitters in five innings as North Tahoe rolled to an 11-1 win in Game 2.
“Colin threw great today,” said North Tahoe head coach Matt Drury. “He pitched smart. He realized they were going after the high fastball and he stayed up there and made them chase it. And he’s not going to get hit if he’s up there.
“Brendon did a great job as well, keeping the ball where he wanted it to go. When he’s on, we’re in good shape.”
Spencer was in complete control against the Warriors. The junior right-hander allowed only two hits and one run in the sixth inning as he regularly slipped a high fastball past Whittell hitters. He effectively mixed in a curve to keep the Warriors off balance, often stealing a first strike with the off-speed pitch.
“I’d say he was the best we’ve faced all year,” Warriors coach Jessie Zuber said of Spencer. “He mixed speeds. He mixed locations. He threw his sliders down and his fastballs up. He had us off balance all day.”
He needed to be sharp to defeat his opponent on the hill, as Whittell starter Matt Elliot gave up just three runs in the third inning while holding the Lakers scoreless the rest of the way. In that third-inning rally, the heart of the North Tahoe lineup broke through with four consecutive hits – by Wildon DesLauriers, Spencer, Arnold and Baird Bishop – to push three runs across. Elliot fanned seven on the day.
Robbie Poet opened the game with a single in the first, but that would be the Warrior’s lone hit until the sixth when the Warriors manufactured their only run. Jake Sharp worked Spencer for a walk and with one out, Poet was hit by a pitch. Sprock hustled an infield single to load the bases. Sharp scored on a wild pitch, but the red and gold could get nothing more off the junior right-hander.
Game 2 remained tight for the first few innings before North Tahoe pulled away.
The Warriors drew first blood with a run in the top of the first when Ty Sprock walked and was brought home on an Elliot single, but the Lakers responded with a three-run bottom half of the inning, then added three more in the fourth and five in the fifth to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Lefty Cody Gibson started for Whittell and gave up eight runs in four-plus innings, although several of those runs were aided by Warrior miscues in the field.
Shortstop Sprock – who made the defensive play of the game when he jumped and snared a hard line drive to end a threat in the fourth – came in with two runners on in the fifth. He coaxed a fielder’s choice before walking the next two batters and then giving up a two-run base hit off the bat of Arnold to end the game.
North Tahoe had 15 hits in the game, led by Arnold’s 3-for-4 performance with a triple and four RBIs, and Mitchell Myers’ 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Conner Lewis, Shane Christian and Bishop each finished with two hits and an RBI, while Connor Altick, Spencer and Alex Tyler each contributed one hit.
The Lakers, who will enter the Northern 2A postseason as a No. 4 seed, ended the regular season 17-7 overall and 6-6 in Mount Rose League play. Whittell, an eighth seed, finished the regular season 3-15 overall and 1-11 in league.
The Tahoe Daily Tribune contributed to this story.