Vikings run into Canadian baseball factory |

Vikings run into Canadian baseball factory

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Even Galena, Bishop Manogue and Carson aren’t of the baseball caliber that South Tahoe High saw Thursday in the Gorman Classic, according to coach Matt Tillson.

Vauxhall Baseball Academy of Alberta, Canada, no-hit the Vikings in a 22-0 five-inning rout.

“I think they have six or seven guys going D1, and they are definitely the best team we’ve seen all year,” Tillson said. “They looked like a college-level team. If they were playing here, I’m sure they’d be nationally ranked. It was good for the kids to see that level of baseball.”

South Tahoe hung with Vauxhall through two innings, trailing 3-0 as starting pitcher Matt Blank kept his pitches around the plate. But Vauxhall erupted for 12 runs in the third inning to trigger the blowout.

The Vikings loaded the bases in the first two innings, including a no-out filling of the sacks in the second, but came away empty against an 87-mph pitcher.

“We weren’t swinging the bats very well. We weren’t very confident. The guys kind of knew what they were going against,” Tillson said.

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Notanee Vasquez, the Vikings’ fourth pitcher, got Vauxhall out 1-2-3 in the fifth inning.

South Tahoe’s bats woke up against Irvine, Calif., in the second game. But the Vikings couldn’t hold a two-run lead and lost 14-13.

After falling behind 6-0 in the second inning, the Vikings rallied for five runs in the top of the third and went ahead 10-8 in the fifth. But Irvine scored six unanswered runs to seemingly secure the win.

The Vikings, however, had other ideas, scoring three runs in their last at-bat. South Tahoe, in fact, had the tying run on second base when the final out was recorded.

“They showed resiliency, and they could have quit after that first game,” Tillson said.

Ricky Braun slapped a two-run single to highlight a four-run Vikings’ fifth inning. Tanner Braun and Jamie Yelles each contributed RBI hits during the inning. Holmgren and Vasquez delivered run-scoring base hits in the seventh.

Holmgren played catcher in place of Gary Prescott, who injured his thumb in the first game. Prescott was able to pinch-hit late in the second game.

Ricky Braun started against Irvine and lasted four innings before his pitch count became too high to continue.

Yelles, Rick Norlie and Kyle DiGrande led the Vikings with two hits. Both Brauns and Max DeLallo each contributed a hit.

South Tahoe (6-14) concludes tournament play today against an opponent to be determined.