Vikings pull out win from depths of defeat
April 12, 2009
South Tahoe High pulled off one of the more improbable baseball wins in school history Saturday in their home opener at Todd Fields.
The Vikings scored eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for an unlikely 13-12 victory over the Galena Grizzlies.
“We’re very proud. We shocked Galena,” said STHS coach Matt Tillson. “I kind of got on them (when they were down 11-0), and they responded. As a coach, if a team responds to what you say, that’s all you can really ask for.
“We put the ball in play and were forcing them to make plays on defense.”
Kyle DiGrande singled in two runs, then Galena committed back-to-back infield errors to let the tying and winning runs to cross the plate, enabling the Vikings to win their first Sierra Division game after seven straight defeats.
“That was huge,” DiGrande said. “We know we can do it, it’s just a matter of producing right now. It’s not like we did anything different than we usually do. We were just stringing hits together, and that’s what we need to do every inning.”
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Junior Ricky Braun pitched 5 2/3 innings of solid relief to pick up the win after Galena had built an 11-0 lead. Braun mixed a changeup and curveball with his heater to keep the Grizzlies off balance. He allowed seven hits while striking out four.
“We just never gave up,” Braun said. “You can’t think about (what their hitters can do), you just have to throw it.”
The winning rally started with one out on a Derek Holmgren single, then Gary Prescott and Max DeLallo walked to fill the bases. Matt Marsh and Chris Heng each knocked in a run to trim Galena’s lead to 12-7. Ricky Braun and Tanner Braun walked to make the score 12-9. After a strikeout, DiGrande singled in two runs to bring the Vikings within a run. Consecutive infield errors on balls hit by Holmgren and Prescott plated the tying and winning runs.
“Everyone just picked it up,” DiGrande said. “If we brought energy like that all of the time, I have no doubt we’d be winning a lot more games. That’s what we need to work on, carrying that energy over. We can’t wait for energy to start, we have to bring it.”
Galena, however, bounced back to win the second game 15-0, using three home runs to win the deciding game of the three-game series.
After a scoreless first inning, the Grizzlies erupted for eight second-inning runs against DeLallo, STHS’s staff ace. Tillson said DeLallo wasn’t 100 percent in the second inning after he was hit by a pitch on his nonthrowing elbow in the bottom of the first.
“He couldn’t lift it anymore, so he couldn’t pull through,” said Tillson, who was upset that Galena starter Eric Howsley’s only early lapse in control was against his No. 1 pitcher.
Reliever Chris Ewing kept the Galena bats quiet in the third and fourth innings, but the Grizzlies put away the Vikings with a seven-run fifth. Brandon Metoyer homered and socked a two-run double, and Garrett Shutt blasted a three-run homer during the rally.
Brian Pointer clubbed a three-run homer for the Grizzlies in the second inning.
Howsley spread out five STHS hits for the shutout. DiGrande had the only extra-base hit ” a leadoff double in the fifth.
STHS started the season with 15 straight road games. Once the Vikings return from a tournament in Las Vegas, they will play their remaining 11 games at Todd Fields.
“That’s tough on any club. That’s tough on a major league club to do that,” Tillson said of his team’s schedule. “To have a 5-10 record up to that point is not a bad thing, and I think they used that as motivation.”
South Tahoe (6-11 overall) will play in the Gorman Classic on Wednesday through Saturday. The Vikings open with Damonte at 8 a.m. and have two games scheduled for Thursday.
Vikings nearly take down Galena
South Tahoe led Galena 4-0 after four innings Saturday, but the Grizzlies rallied for a 6-4 Sierra Division softball victory at the Field of Dreams in South Lake Tahoe.
Galena also won the first game 9-2 ” the Vikings’ home opener.
The Grizzlies had a home run in each game.
Terra Backinger and Moriah Lane each went 2 for 3 in the first game, while Backinger had three of the Vikings’ six hits and two RBI in the second game. STHS’s Brittany Barcellos scored three runs of the Vikings’ four runs in game two, while Ashley Killeen was 2 for 4. Barcellos, Tiffany Racz and Missy Miller each delivered a hit in the opener.
Junior pitcher Krissy Guarino handcuffed the Grizzlies for four innings before giving way to the bullpen.
“They did a much better job and worked really hard,” said STHS coach Anneliese Neitling. “They stepped up to the game and brought the kind of ball we’re used to seeing.”
South Tahoe, which is 2-10 in the Sierra Division, plays host to Fallon on April 23.
Warriors drop heartbreaker to Silver Stage
Losses don’t get much tougher than the one the Whittell Warriors’ baseball team experienced Saturday in Silver Springs.
Whittell took a 6-5 lead into the final inning against Silver Stage and a victory appeared to be eminent as the Warriors retired the first two hitters. But two errors, including a dropped fly ball, enabled the Nighthawks to squeak out a 7-6 Northern 2A League victory.
The nature of the defeat probably spilled into the second game, as the Nighthawks had an easier time, 12-4.
“We finally saw some good competition,” said Whittell coach Starbuck Teevan.
The losses were Whittell’s first in league play, dropping their record to 4-2.
In the opener, Nick Warner was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored, Adam Laub went 2 for 3 with two RBI, Alex Potnick was 2 for 2 with a double and two RBI and Alex Vogt had a double and RBI.
In game two, Whittell pulled within 5-4 in the fourth inning, then the Nighthawks scored seven unanswered runs. Warner, Laub, Potnick and Vogt each delivered a hit. Warner’s hit went for three bases, and Laub and Potnick each knocked in a run.
The Warriors (12-5 overall) meet Battle Mountain in a doubleheader Saturday at Lampe Park.
Chapman curtails WHS hitting
Shannon Chapman pitched a pair of one-hitters as Silver Stage swept a Northern 2A League softball doubleheader from Whittell 10-0 and 8-1 on Saturday in Silver Springs.
Chapman struck out 12 Warriors in the first game and didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning when Chaine Paradis singled.
Rachel Laub’s third-inning double was Whittell only hit off Chapman in the second game.
“They weren’t taking any chances with us,” said Whittell coach Rich Barna, noting that Chapman pitched the distance in both games. “She had pretty good speed and placed her pitches pretty well.”
The Warriors lone run came when Megan Miller’s ground ball to third base was thrown wildly to first, with the ball eventually deflecting into right field. The speedy Miller came around to score on the error.
On Tuesday, Whittell jumped out to an 8-3 lead at Coleville, but the Wolves rallied for a 15-10 nonleague victory.
Sarah Ehrler’s triple highlighted a six-run Warriors’ third inning. Laub and Miller led Whittell with two hits.
The Wolves scored six unearned runs in the final two innings to pull out the win.
Whittell (6-12-1) plays a home doubleheader against Battle Mountain on Saturday.