South Tahoe needs another big win tonight |

South Tahoe needs another big win tonight

Douglas Etten
Douglas Etten - Tahoe Daily TribuneJamie Yelles has posted a team best 3.14 earned run average this season. He and the rest of the Vikings pitching staff will hope to stifl the Whittell lineup tonight. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m. in South Lake Tahoe.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – For the South Tahoe baseball team, there playoffs, essentially, begin tonight.

They already own the one-up on cross-town rival Whittell. Beating them 9-0 back in late March, they’re pitching staff limited Starbuck Teevan’s team to just three hits.

Offensivlely they pounded out seven hits of their own – four of which went for extra bases as they capitalized on a six-run third inning to pull away early.

“We’ve had good success this season when we get the bats going early and score some runs,” STHS head coach Rich Rubel said. “That’s going to be crucial tonight. We need to score runs early in the game. Then we can turn it over to our defense.”

After tonight, the Vikings (11-11, 6-2) close out their regular season schedule in a tripleheader versus Sparks (15-6, 8-1). That run of games starts Thursday at home, and depending on what they do tonight, they will need to win at the very least two of those last three to claim either the one or two spot in the Mount Rose league. In doing so they’ll clinch their own zone playoff berth for next weekend, and have put another notch iin their belt having beaten their nemesis from Zephyr Cove one more time.

“We’re looking at tonight as a must win game,” Rubel said. “There really is no other way to look at it. If we don’t win tonight, we put ourselves in a very tough position to make the playoffs.”

However, should they lose tonight, and though their backs rest against the proverbial wall, they can still get in, but they’ll need a sweep of the final three games to finish at 9-3 in the league and oust Truckee from the playoff picture. The final two games of the three game set with Sparks take place in Reno Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

Truckee (15-12, 8-4) does hold one last breath at one of the two playoff spots awarded inside the Mount Rose league. They’ll wait to see what happens with South Lake and Whittell tonight. A South Lake loss leaves the possibility that both they and Sparks will be in. However should South Lake win out, or win thre of their last four, it would be the Vikings and Sparks getting the bids and Truckee being the team at 8-4 that gets left at home.

Sparks took the best of three series with Truckee last weekend, winning 10-2 and 7-0 before falling in the third game 13-9.

Should South Lake finish at 8-4 they would lose the tiebreaker with Truckee who took the season series from the Vikings. If South Tahoe finishes at 8-4, that would put Sparks at 9-3 into the zones as the one seed and Truckee as the two. South Tahoe could not sneak in the backdoor by finishing the season two and two.

South Tahoe has been on what some might call a tear of late. While their season has gone up and down like the rollercoaster-type cliche, back-to-back wins came in convincing fashion over Hug High School last week. Rubel said his pitching staff will need to be sharp against a very disciplined and agressive Whittell nine.

“I have got a lot of respect for these kids,” Rubel said. “I think the kids are pumped up and ready to win. They want to win. They believe that they’ve put in the work to be successful. Now it’s time to go out and do it.”

Game time tonight at South Lake is set for 4:30 p.m.

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