South Tahoe baseball can’t break through in two games against Fernley
The South Tahoe baseball team didn’t play any of its games against Fernley as scheduled last weekend, and a pair of defeats came out of two rescheduled contests. The Vikings lost to the Vaqueros at Todd Fields Park last Thursday, April 21, and fell on the road Saturday, April 23.
“We had kind of anticipated it and we thought ahead of time that something like that could happen,” Vikings coach Starbuck Teevan said. “It was an adjustment and we had to push around our schedule a little bit.”
Both of the Vikings’ games against Fernley were rescheduled due to snow. The third game of the series will be played in South Lake Tahoe on May 10. South Tahoe (8-16, 8-11 I-A Northern) sits in fifth place in the league standings after the losses, with Fernley (14-7, 13-3) in third.
“Fernley is a very well-coached team, very disciplined and they play really good defense,” Teevan said.
In the first meeting between the teams, South Tahoe fell 4-2 at home last Thursday. The Vikings opened scoring in the top of the second, but Fernley answered with four runs over the next three frames and held off STHS the rest of the way.
“We played pretty well,” Teevan said. “We had two errors in the field and a base-running mistake late — those three hiccups cost us the game.”
Senior Justin Ruger went 1-for-3 and collected the team’s lone RBI last Thursday. Freshman Kevin Lehmann went 1-for-3 with a double and a run and junior Garret Harley was 1-for-3 with a run. Senior Will Mori, senior Mason Cain, senior Caleb Russell and freshman Chris Pfister added a hit apiece.
On the mound, Pfister threw a complete game in a losing effort. In 7.0 innings, the right-hander allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
“Chris threw a very good game for us,” Teevan said. “We should have won the game 2-1 or 1-0 based on the way he pitched.”
Instead of a home doubleheader Saturday, South Tahoe played a single road game at Fernley. The Vikings lost to the Vaqueros 8-3 in a contest moved as the result of snowy conditions on the South Shore.
“It’s tough playing a home game at somebody else’s field because it doesn’t really feel like a home game,” Teevan said. “But in Northern Nevada, you have to be able to switch things up when you need to — and that’s what we did.”
South Tahoe opened the scoring in the bottom of the first Saturday, and Fernley tied the game in the next half-inning. The Vaqueros added four in the top of the third to take a lead they would never surrender. The Vikings scored in the third and fifth innings, but never got closer than three runs.
Mori collected a team-high three of South Tahoe’s 11 hits, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Harley was 2-for-3 with a run and Pfister finished 2-for-3, while Cain and Ruger each had RBI hits. The Vikings left 11 players on base in defeat.
“Fernley played really good defense and they caught everything we hit,” Teevan said. “They’re by far the best defensive team in the league that I’ve seen.”
Senior Moises Cuevas threw a complete game Saturday. In 7.0 innings, Cuevas allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits with two walks.
“We played pretty good defense, but we pitched from behind most of the game — and they got the clutch hits,” Teevan said.
The re-scheduling of Saturday’s doubleheader led to a compromise between the two teams. In exchange for playing at Fernley, the series finale will give South Tahoe a senior day in the last week of the regular season.
After a 10-day layoff, South Tahoe returns to action Tuesday, May 10, against Dayton. The league game will be played at Greater Nevada Field, home of the Triple-A Reno Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
“We’re definitely going to try to get everybody healthy,” Teevan said. “We’ll do a lot of defensive work and some hitting — and focus on fundamental stuff that has been hurting us all year.”