Whittell baseball sweeps Smith Valley, remains unbeaten in league play
GARNDERVILLE, Nev. — The Whittell baseball team won a pair of games in contrasting fashion Friday, April 15, to remain undefeated in Div. IV West League play. The Warriors swept Smith Valley in a doubleheader at Lampe Park, completing the sweep with a dramatic 10-8 comeback against the Bulldogs.
Whittell (5-8, 3-0 IV West) opened the twinbill with a 14-1 win in five innings. The Warriors broke open the contest with a seven-run third inning and freshman Cody Ruby delivered a strong performance on the mound to deliver a decisive victory.
“We poured it on,” Warriors coach Tobias Donahue said. “Once they fell behind, they definitely lost a little of their eagerness to be in that game.”
The Warriors scored seven times in the bottom of the third to take an 11-0 lead and bury Smith Valley (3-4-1, 2-3). Junior Colton Ruby went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the win and senior Quinn Kixmiller finished 2-for-3.
“The whole team hit the ball well in the first game,” Donahue said. “We were hitting the ball hard back up the middle — we were letting the ball travel and putting together really good at-bats.”
Cody Ruby allowed one run in 4.0 innings in the opener, striking out six and walking one. Senior Chris Evans threw a scoreless fifth with three strikeouts — the Bulldogs didn’t hit a fly ball to the outfield in the entire contest.
“The pitchers were really challenging hitters and getting them to keep it on the ground,” Donahue said.
In the second game, the Warriors outlasted Smith Valley 10-8 in a contest that was close throughout. Whittell took the decisive lead on a two-run single from Cody Ruby in the bottom of the sixth, after falling behind 8-7 in the top half of the frame.
“It was nice to see the guys not get down when we got behind and able to fight back,” Donahue said.
Smith Valley jumped in front in both the fifth and sixth innings, only to see Whittell reclaim the lead each time. In the sixth, juniors Sam Berry and Dismas Womack each got on base before Colton Ruby tied the game with an RBI single — Cody Ruby’s run-scoring hit gave the Warriors a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
“That put us ahead and really got our confidence up,” Donahue said.
Colton Ruby threw 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win. The right-hander’s outing included three strikeouts and secured the sweep for Whittell.
“Colton was throwing his best of the season,” Donahue said. “His arm looked really loose and he was overmatching the hitters.”
Junior Josh Burch started the second game and lasted 5.2 innings. The left-hander threw 47 pitches through the first five frames — including a five-pitch inning that featured two outs on the first pitch.
“They continued to fight through everything,” Donahue said. “The game was tight, and it forced us to continue to work throughout the whole seven innings.”
After a nonleague road game against Yerington’s junior varsity team Thursday, April 21, Whittell continues league play with a doubleheader at Coleville on Saturday, April 23. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
“If we can go out and play at the level we should play at, we’ll be in a good position to win those two games,” Donahue said. “That makes sure we’re in zone.”