Loggers win Red Dog Classic
It doesn’t take ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons to determine why the Sierra Tahoe Loggers are rolling through their fall ball schedule.
The Loggers executed at the plate, in the field and on the mound while going undefeated in the Red Dog Classic last weekend in Reno.
Sierra Tahoe (14-1) outslugged the Santa Clara All-Stars 11-8, blanked Oroville 10-0, edged the Redding Rattlers 9-8 and overwhelmed Nevada Union 11-6.
“The kids are playing so well,” said Loggers’ manager Don Amaral.
Brothers Robert and Ryan Lane combined for six hits, including four doubles, and eight RBIs in the opening game. Craig Spencer added two RBIs.
Sierra Tahoe trailed 4-2 entering the sixth inning but scored nine times to seemingly take command. But the All-Stars came back with four in the seventh and had the bases loaded when the Loggers turned to their defense. A 4-6-3 double play wiped out the rally and sent the Loggers rolling toward their undefeated tournament.
Tommy Martinez of Hawthorne was nearly unhittable against Oroville. Martinez fanned four and allowed two hits to post the shutout. He retired the final 12 batters. Eli Bently of Minden went 2 for 3 to lead the offense.
Redding brought a 62-5 summer and fall ball record into the third game with the Loggers. Behind 8-6 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Loggers’ Ryan Lane stroked a three-run double off the wall to pull out the come-from-behind win. This rally came after Redding scored eight unanswered runs to wipe out a six-run deficit.
Ryan Lane tried to nail down the win in the seventh but left with the bags loaded and one out. Brother Robert came to the rescue, saving the win with a strikeout and popout.
In their final game against Nevada Union, Sierra Tahoe’s Marcus McKinnon went 2 for 3 with three runs and Robert Lane 2 for 3 with two RBIs to lead a 14-hit attack.
With two tournament titles in the bag, the Loggers will go for a third this weekend in Chico. Amaral also will have some of the program’s younger players playing on Saturday and Sunday. The 12- to 15-year-old group plays Douglas in a 10 a.m. doubleheader Sunday at Lampe Park. A second team made up of several veteran players/younger players will take on the Redding Tribe in a 10 a.m. doubleheader Saturday at Lampe Park.