Warriors sweep Longhorns to start division play
April 3, 2005
Since winning the Nevada 2A state baseball championship in 2001 no team has given Whittell High more trouble than the Battle Mountain Longhorns.
That was until the teams played their Northern 2A League opener on Friday at Lampe Park in Gardnerville.
Whittell raked Longhorn pitching for 30 hits and sent the Battle Mountain squad scurrying for its bus after five innings in sweeping last year’s state runners-up 11-1 and 13-2.
“We just pounded the ball and made only two errors,” said Whittell coach Don Amaral.
Marcus Mellberg, the winning pitcher in the opener, put the Longhorns out of their misery by hitting a three-run walk-off homer to right center with one out in the fifth inning. It was his third homer of the season and the first walk-off homer of his career.
“It was awesome to beat that team and 10 run them both times,” Mellberg said. “It was the first time I’ve seen our team really come together, everyone was hitting at the same time. It gave us a good idea how good we’re gonna be because Battle Mountain was supposed to be one of the better teams in our league.”
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Battle Mountain was unable to mount a serious attack against Mellberg in the opener. Mellberg threw a complete-game five-hitter while striking out two and walking three. The only run off of him was unearned.
A collective offensive effort turned the game into a rout. Ryan Gosh was 3 for 3, Brian Peate 3 for 4, Jeff Young 2 for 4 and Mellberg 2 for 4. Young and Mellberg each triple and Brian Vogt cracked a double.
Whittell blew open a 2-1 game by scoring five runs in the third inning and four in the fifth. The game-turning third inning began with a Gosh single and a Young triple. Peate followed with a double to plate Young. A double by Peate, single by Tommy Esquivel, double by Brian Vogt and single by Cody Harrington capped the uprising.
The Warriors took the momentum from the Game 1 victory into Game 2, scoring four runs in the first inning.
The lead was more than enough for senior Chris Shapiro, who limited the Longhorns to four hits while fanning five.
“He was never in any real trouble, had good command throughout and we played good defense behind him,” Amaral said.
Gosh collected three more hits to finish 6 for 7 for the day and Mellberg had two hits besides his homer and drove home four runs. Peate kept connecting as well, slugging a pair of hits and knocking in two runs. Shapiro, Vogt, Esquivel, Chris Anton and Brian Hanshew rapped singles.
Whittell (2-0 league and 6-3 overall) won’t return to league play for two weeks but will try to sharpen its skills four nonleague games this week. Next up is a 6 p.m. matchup with Carson on Tuesday.
“This gives us a lot of confidence. I don’t thank there any 2A teams that can beat us after the way we showed we can play,” Mellberg said.
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