Vikings get best of Truckee with late-inning heroics
In a continuation of a budding rivalry in the newly formed Mount Rose league, the Truckee and South Tahoe baseball teams split their doubleheader at Governor’s Field in Carson City on Saturday.
This time, it was the Vikings who came out the big walk-off winners.
While Truckee earned a 5-0 victory in the first game, South Tahoe took the second 7-6 in a come-from-behind effort, thanks to a clutch walk-off single from Bobby Oakes, scoring Andrew Contaxis.
It was a huge win for the Vikings, said assistant coach Kevin Higgins.
“We had lost three in a row against Truckee – and two of those were walk-offs for Truckee,” Higgins said Tuesday. “To be able to turn the tide and get one of our own was huge for our team.”
The Wolverines struck first in Game Two, as Luke Theis doubled and reached home on a throwing error on a single by Trevor Aldridge. Aldridge later scored on a passed ball as Truckee took a 2-1 lead after three.
Truckee added another run in the fourth when Allen singled, stole second and reached home on an error.
The fifth saw Theis and Tanner Churich single. With one out and the runners at second and third, Jackson Rohlf laid down a perfect bunt to squeeze in Theis, while Churich alertly advanced home while the Vikings were making the play on Rohlf at first.
Trailing 6-1 as Truckee made a pitching change to begin the bottom of the sixth, the Vikings saw an opportunity for a comeback.
After a questionable foul call that could have been an out, South Tahoe’s Jake Braun reached first on an error in short right field. Jamie Yelles followed up with a single and Contaxis reached on another Truckee error as Braun crossed the plate. Cody Higgins kept the rally alive with an RBI double, and Bobby Oakes pushed across two runs with a single to right, cutting the score to 6-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Braun led off with a double and scored on a single by Contaxis. After reaching second on a passed ball and third on a ground out, Contaxis scored the winning run on a single by Oakes to right.
In Game 1, both pitchers held a shutout through three innings. The visiting Wolverines, though, drew first blood in the fourth as Troy Allen singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven in by the recently hot bat of Ryan Smith, who doubled to left.
The Vikings looked to get that run back in the bottom half of the fourth, as Contaxis reached on an infield single and went to third on a hit by Yelles. Derek Clenan then hit a soft fly to right field, giving Contaxis the chance to tag up and tie the score.
But Truckee’s right fielder, Trevor Aldridge, made the catch and threw a strike to catcher Luke Theis at home to cut down Contaxis and end the threat.
Truckee starting pitcher James DePew was in cruise control, facing no more than four South Tahoe batters in any inning during his seven-inning outing.
DePew finished with 11 strikeouts while allowing four hits and no walks.
Despite the Game One loss, it was the walk-off win in Game Two that has assistant coach Higgins looking forward to the team’s next few games.
After competing in a tournament Thursday and Friday in Redding, the Vikings finally – after this winter’s epic snowfall – get to host a home game next Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe.
“We’re very excited,” Higgins said. “We’ve been practicing on our home field now for a little bit; to at last be able to play a home game … it’s a big thrill.”
– Kevin MacMillan contributed to this report.