‘On a warpath’: Vikings baseball on 9-game win streak | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘On a warpath’: Vikings baseball on 9-game win streak

Vikings baseball team looks to extend streak

Senior Ian Ross pitches against Truckee during South Tahoe’s 1-0 win on Friday.
Justin Scacco/Sierra Sun

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Tahoe baseball team extended its win steak to nine games this week and is set to enter a key series this weekend against North Valleys.

The Vikings first earned a hard-fought three-game sweep of Truckee last week, claiming two of the contests by one-run margins.

South Tahoe renewed its rivalry with the Wolverines last Thursday by taking 6-3 win, which was keyed by eight strikeouts from senior pitcher Nico Wagner, and three-hit performances by senior Joel Gomez and senior Garrett Friederici.

South Tahoe then made the trip to Sparks the following day for a doubleheader against Truckee at Golden Eagle Regional Park.

The Vikings fell behind 2-1 in the first game, but battled back with runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth inning before holding off the Wolverines lineup at bay in the final frame to claim a 4-3 win.

Christopher Haven hit a solo homerun to lead South Tahoe, while Wagner added a pair of hits, including a double, and a team-high RBIs. Friederici also hit a double and knocked in a run. Senior pitcher Evan Orr struck out six batters and allowed one hit in five innings of work from the mound.

South Tahoe then completed a sweep of Truckee later that afternoon in a contentious 1-0 win.

In a game that featured standout defensive and pitching performances, it would be a balk that decided the contest. The teams came into the bottom of the sixth inning tied at 0-0, and after putting runners on second and third base with two outs, Vikings Head Coach Mark Shehadi, decided to send his runner home against Truckee’s left-handed pitcher.

“I had to do it. I had to make something happen,” said Shehadi. “I had to try something, who wants to go extra innings when we’ve got our rival right here?”

With a runner sprinting toward home, Truckee’s pitcher fired a ball to the catcher in what would have been a tag for the third out of the inning. Instead, the pitcher’s motion was deemed a balk, and the go-ahead run moved across the plate.

In the top of the seventh inning, senior Ian Ross finished off a strong game from a Vikings pitching staff that limited Truckee to two hits. Gomez secured the final out of the afternoon on a shot that nearly reached the warning track.

The Vikings then hit the road on Tuesday for a matchup at Lowry where they extended their win streak to nine games with a 14-3 win. Senior JR Elizalde led the team with a trio of hits and three RBIs. Wagner drove in two runs, pitched two innings and led the team with five strikeouts.

The Vikings, a team that has yet to play at home due to this year’s historic winter, are now set for a battle against North Valleys that will likely decide first place in the Class 3A Northern – West League.

“We haven’t practiced on a field once,” said Shehadi. “I’m very, very pleased with the defensive effort and the pitching and without any practice . We’re in a gym.”

South Tahoe (14-4) will open a three-game series at North Valleys (14-2) on Friday at 3 p.m. The teams will then play a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.

“They are on a warpath and they want it,” said Shehadi of his team going into the final stretch of the season.

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