South Tahoe baseball aims to build off historic success in 2015
2015 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
Mike Bearman Memorial Tourney
March 5 at Wooster, 3:30 p.m.
March 6 at North Valleys, 12:30 p.m.
March 6 vs. Truckee (at North Valleys), 3 p.m.
March 7 vs. Pleasant Valley (at Reno), Noon
March 7 at Reno, 2:30 p.m.
Div. I-A Northern League
March 13 at Elko, 3 p.m.
March 14 at Elko, 11 a.m. (DH)
March 20 at Sparks, 3 p.m.
March 21 at Sparks, 11 a.m. (DH)
March 27 vs. Truckee, 3 p.m.
March 28 vs. Truckee, 11 a.m. (DH)
March 31 vs. Dayton, 3 p.m.
April 3 at Lowry, 3 p.m.
April 4 at Lowry, 11 a.m. (DH)
April 10 at Fernley, 3 p.m.
April 11 at Fernley, 11 a.m. (DH)
April 14 vs. Dayton, 3 p.m.
April 24 vs. Spring Creek, 6 p.m.
April 25 vs. Spring Creek, 11 a.m. (DH)
April 28 vs. Dayton (at Aces Stadium), 3 p.m.
May 1 vs. Fallon, 3 p.m.
May 2 vs. Fallon, 11 a.m. (DH)
Home games in bold
Home games played at Todd Fields (South Tahoe Middle School)
The South Tahoe baseball team enters the 2015 season ready to build off a historic campaign. A talented and experienced squad has designs on making the Div. I-A state tournament for the second straight season, a year removed from the program’s first-ever trip to state.
“It’s about building on what we started last year — the foundation has already been set, and now we’re trying to build on it,” Vikings’ fourth-year head coach Starbuck Teevan said. “The program is going to build itself, but we have to continue to make progress and win baseball games.”
Last year, South Tahoe finished fourth in Div. I-A Northern League with a 15-9 mark to qualify for the postseason for the first time in two decades. Once in the playoffs, the Vikings made a historic run that began by knocking off top-seeded Elko in their first playoff game and ended one win shy of playing for the state championship.
“Last year was really special — it was a blessing,” Vikings senior pitcher/first baseman Kolby Eymann said. “We worked for it every day and it finally paid off.”
While looking to build off of last season’s postseason run, the Vikings don’t want to get too caught up in past success. South Tahoe’s nine seniors plan to use the experience of 2014 to make continued progress this season.
“That was last year — this is a whole new year,” Teevan said. “Nobody is going to take us lightly anymore and everybody is going to be gunning for the Vikings — it’s up to us to step up our game.
“Expectations are higher — we can’t get too high on our horse, because last year was last year. We have to prove ourselves again.”
Five players graduated from last year’s South Tahoe team — including co-captain Dominic Diana — but the Vikings have a wealth of talent returning. STHS enters the season with seven returning players, led by senior captains Eymann, Dakota Lynch and River Quinn.
“I think we’re one of the best teams in the league — we have a lot of talent, a lot of hard workers and I feel really confident in our team this year,” said Lynch, who will play center field and pitch for the Vikings. “It’s really nice to have a lot of kids coming back.”
Quinn (.451), Lynch (.421) and Eymann (.417) all hit above .400 last season while knocking in more than 20 RBIs apiece, and were three of South Tahoe’s top four hitters. Teevan said the trio’s value extends beyond the stat sheet.
“They’re the leaders of the team,” Teevan said. “All the younger guys look up to them and it’s important for them to set an example.”
Alongside a core of experienced players, a handful of newcomers are expected to make an immediate impact for the Vikings this season. Senior Logan Brewer, senior Justin Cain and junior Moises Cuevas are all up from the junior varsity team while senior Jordan Mann and junior Will Mori are returning to the program after not playing last season.
“This team can be as good — if not better — than last year’s team,” Teevan said. “It all looks good on paper in the beginning of the year until you go out there, put in the hard work and push each other to get better — until we prove it, it means nothing.”
The Vikings’ biggest strength is their overall team speed, and Eymann said STHS will have one of the fastest teams Div. I-A Northern League. Offensively, that translates to small ball with bunting, hit-and-runs, steals and timely hitting — last year South Tahoe stole 78 bases.
“We’re more of a speed team — get on the bases, take bases and win that way,” Quinn said.
On the mound, South Tahoe enters the season with eight reliable pitchers. Lynch, Mann and sophomore Garrett Harley anchor the Vikings’ deep pitching staff.
“We all throw pretty consistently and we have a lot of different speeds,” Lynch said. “This year everyone seems to be on top of their pitching game and focusing really hard on throwing strikes and getting the job done.”
South Tahoe opened its season Thursday at Wooster (Reno, Nev.) in the first of five games at the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament. The Vikings will play five games over a three-day span, facing North Valleys (Reno, Nev.) and Truckee on Friday before concluding tournament play against Pleasant Valley (Chico, Calif.) and Reno (Nev.) on Saturday.
“I couldn’t be more excited to start the season,” Eymann said. “With the success we had last year, it’s been in the back of our minds that we want to repeat the same thing and try to make it farther this year.”
The Vikings start league play with a three-game series at defending champion Elko March 13-14. South Tahoe’s first home series is March 27-28 against Truckee.
“Our No. 1 goal is to try to win every series and from there take a league title, get a regional championship and finish with a state championship,” Eymann said. “We can be as great as we want to be, but we can be as horrible as we want to be — we have the talent to go far, we just have to put it all together.”
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