South Tahoe baseball starts season Friday, eyes 9th straight trip to playoffs
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe baseball has a mix of veterans and youngsters this season and head coach Starbuck Teevan likes his chances to reach the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season.
The Vikings have three key returners, six coming up from junior varsity and six new additions, including four freshmen and two seniors.
And, unlike last year during a “Miracle March” snow year, the Vikings have field access early on this season.
“We have a mix of young and old,” Teevan said. “We’re very lucky to be out on the field early this year and need to take advantage of that. We’re going to have some growing pains early in the season as the younger guys and new additions get caught up to varsity pitching and the speed of the game.”
Teevan’s three returning senior starters will be key for the Vikings all season.
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Aquino and Lee were two of the team’s workhorses on the mound last season.
They both finished with 3-2 records and combined for 68 innings pitched.
Aquino, who plays infield when he’s not on the rubber, tossed 36 innings in nine appearances and finished with a 4.86 earned run average.
He’s also the team’s leading retuner at the plate where he carried a .330 average (29-88). He also led the team in home runs (2) and was second in doubles (6).
Lee hurled 31-plus innings in eight appearances and had a 3.76 ERA. He was the team’s catcher when he wasn’t pitching, and was the most consistent strike thrower, something Teevan said will be important again this year.
“Everything starts with our pitchers attacking the zone and giving our defense a chance to work,” Teevan said. “Limiting our mistakes and taking advantage of every opportunity we can will help us reach some of our goals. We have a very competitive league every year and we need to come ready to play each and every weekend.”
The third returning senior, Cameron Lehmann, has a “Gold Glove” in center field and hit .266 as a junior (21-79). He will also find himself on the mound this season.
His younger brother, Andrew, a sophomore, also made an impact last year as a freshman, but is injured and out several weeks.
“During the season we’ll lean heavily on Travis, Cameron, Jaden and Andrew when he gets healthy,” Teevan said.
The JV players coming up are Kyle Clark, Jensen Smith, Noah Ramos, Carson Cobel, Ty Loughlin and Miles Hamburg.
The new additions are seniors Frankie Aquilina and Logan Allen and freshmen Joel Gomez, Luke Laub, Cameron Gurner and Ian Ross.
The Vikings open the season Friday in the Yerington Tournament where they will play Dayton and Battle Mountain and then on Saturday they will play Wooster and Bishop Union.
They will open play in the Northern League on Saturday, March 14, against Churchill County in Fallon, Nev.
South Tahoe will host the regional and state tournaments this year. The class 3A regional is May 7-9 and state is May 14-16.
“After falling short last year at the Regional Tournament we look to get back in the mix and see if we can surprise some people,” Teevan said. “We’ve qualified for the regional tournament the past eight years in a row and we don’t want that streak to end. The guys are working hard and looking forward to a fun season. We will need contributions from every player on the roster if we want to make another run at the state tournament. We’re looking forward to the community coming out and supporting the Vikings baseball and hoping the weather allows us to stay outside.”
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