Whittell looking for payback tonight in South Lake
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – There’s still just a little more to the high school baseball game being played tonight in South Lake Tahoe.
Even someone who’s not savvy in their baseball-lingo would find it entertaining, especially given the nature of what’s at stake heading into the final week of the season for both the South Tahoe Vikings and the George Whittell Warriors.
Whittell (17-9, 6-5) comes off a sweep of North Tahoe (8-18, 1-11) in Gardnerville Saturday. They’ve won five straight, outscoring their opponents 43 to 16 during that stretch. Their two wins Saturday helped position them as the two seed in the 2A playoffs which begin this weekend. They’ll tango with West Wendover in a best of three series starting Friday with hopes of moving into the Northern League zones in Lovelock next weekend.
With that being said, they have a little unfinished business to attend to in South Lake Tahoe.
A win tonight means Whittell would finish the season at 7-5 in the Mount Rose league. Head coach Starbuck Teevan says he’ll throw a calico mix of pitching at South Tahoe and hopes his defense continues to make the plays they’ve come accustomed to making over the past few weeks in particular.
“Tonight is bragging rights. Basically all my pitchers are going to get work,” Teevan said. “We’d like to finish, in league, 7-4, but we’ve got some payback on our minds too after getting beat 9-0 earlier this season. We want to prove we’ve gotten better over the course of the season.”
One of those players who’s made stretches in the positive direction is Julian Washalefsky. A true utility option for Teevan, the senior has sparked some big things at the plate especially this season for the Warriors. He’ll also get some action on the mound where he’s molded into one of Whittell’s best options.
“He’s been kind of our darkhorse this year,” Teevan said. “Especially at the plate. He’s hitting the ball like he’s never hit the ball before.”
With two returning All-State players in Alex Vogt and Alex Potnick, each of who have continued to show why they were elected last year and are likely to be again this season, the team has also embraced the emergance of freshman catcher Matthew Elliot who’s been a big surprise on both offense and defense.
“We preach to all the guys to put themselves out there behind the guy on the mound,” Teevan said. “And we’ve done that of late. We’re not compounding errors and we are just playing smarter baseball. We’re getting bunts down, our hitters are getting hits and we’ve gradually been making progress.”
With a vow at the season’s beginning to return to the Class 2A state championship game, Teevan has put a challenge in front of his players and he’s been very pleased with how they’ve responded.
“After our San diego tourney where we saw some really good competition, we started turning things around a bit,” Teevan said. “We’ve got a good core group back and we set out three goals to start the season. Winning that state title was one of them.”