South Tahoe baseball opens season at Bearman Tourney, wins pair
South Tahoe (2-3) at Elko (3-2)
Friday 3:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. (DH)
RENO, Nev. — The South Tahoe baseball team opened its 2015 season by taking the diamond against tough competition. The Vikings played five games in a three-day span at the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament last week, highlighted by back-to-back wins over North Valleys (Reno, Nev.) and league rival Truckee last Friday.
“We definitely saw some positives and some negatives — we can take both away from the tournament,” Vikings head coach Starbuck Teevan said. “Our pitching and our defense through the first four games pretty much surprised me.”
In its season opener last Thursday, South Tahoe lost at Wooster 5-2. The Vikings scored both of their runs in the seventh inning on a two-run double by Paul Hoefer, an inning after the Colts scored three runs to break the game open.
South Tahoe had four hits in the season opener — Hoefer, Garret Harley and Dakota Lynch each went 1-for-3 while Nick Paskart had a hit in his only at-bat of the game. Harley and Paskart each scored on Hoefer’s double.
“We were a little bit overmatched with the pitching,” Teevan said. “It was nothing we haven’t seen in our own league, we just didn’t have the quality at-bats we were looking for.”
Starter Kolby Eymann (L, 0-1) allowed two runs — one earned — over five innings against the Colts. He struck out three, walked three and gave up four hits in the loss.
The Vikings began play Friday with a 10-5 win at North Valleys. South Tahoe scored five unanswered runs over the last three innings to break free from a back-and-forth contest and notch its first win of the season.
“Offensively, anything that we tried worked — we were working on our bunting, hit-and-runs, fake bunt slashes and steals,” Teevan said. “We competed really well and really attacked the ball.”
South Tahoe tagged the Panthers for 16 hits in the win led by Lynch, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, a double and a run scored. Harley also tallied three hits — the sophomore finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs.
Eymann had two hits, two RBIs, a triple and three runs against North Valleys — and also finished with three stolen bases. Hoefer and Paskart also collected two hits apiece while Logan Brewer, Aaron Pfister and River Quinn each had one.
Lynch (W, 1-0) allowed two runs — one earned — in five innings to pick up the victory. The senior struck out two, walked two and allowed three hits.
“Dakota threw lights out for us — he kept his pitch count down and threw a lot of strikes, so it kept our defense on its toes,” Teevan said.
In its second game Friday, South Tahoe got an early look at a Div. I-A Northern League foe — and prevailed in a seesaw contest. The Vikings rallied past Truckee 7-5, scoring three runs in the last two innings to down the rival Wolverines.
“It was a good way for us to have a look at them and see what they’ve got,” Teevan said. “Even though they’re one of our rivals, we’ve been pretty close — our guys know some of their guys from summer ball and we had a good relationship with coach Ellie.”
Eymann recorded a team-high three hits in the win and led South Tahoe with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Will Mori went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run against Truckee, Harley finished 2-for-4 with an RBI while Lynch and Quinn each had a hit and an RBI — as a team, the Vikings stole eight bases in the win.
Caleb Russell (W, 1-0) allowed two runs in 4.1 innings of relief to pick up the win, striking out five while allowing six hits and two walks after replacing Quinn. After South Tahoe went in front, Harley (S, 1) sealed the victory with a hitless seventh.
“We threw a mix of guys,” Teevan said. “Caleb threw five innings and just did a great job throwing strikes down the middle of the zone.”
On Saturday, the Vikings suffered a pair of losses against quality opposition at Reno High. The Vikings were held to one hit in a 3-0 shutout loss against Pleasant Valley (Chico, Calif.) before concluding tournament play with a 22-1 loss against Reno.
“In the last two games we were a little overmatched offensively because of the pitching,” Teevan said. “We just didn’t have the timing, and generally we don’t see guys that throw in the mid to upper 80s.”
Against Pleasant Valley, Eymann collected South Tahoe’s only hit and the Vikings struck out 11 times. Harley (L, 0-1) allowed two runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out two while issuing no walks.
In its tournament finale, the Vikings ran out of juice in a lopsided defeat to Reno. After beating South Tahoe in a five-inning game, the defending Div. I Northern Region champion Huskies downed Damonte Ranch (Reno, Nev.) to finish unbeaten in four tournament games.
“Defensively we competed really well for the first four games — the fifth game got away from us,” Teevan said. “We didn’t have much pitching left and they’re a really good team.”
Eymann had two of South Tahoe’s five hits against Reno, and knocked in the team’s lone RBI — Mori, Pfister and Quinn collected one hit apiece. The Huskies scored 22 runs on 24 hits against four Vikings’ pitchers — starter Josh Sullivan (L, 0-1) took the loss.
Teevan said South Tahoe’s pitching and defense was strong throughout the tournament, especially the play of Mori at shortstop. On the offensive side, he said the Vikings still have some work to do after their first five games.
“We have to work on some things offensively, especially against faster pitching,” Teevan said. “The more we see live pitching, the better off we’re going to be — in the next week or two we should turn the corner there.”
South Tahoe (2-3) returns to action Friday, when it opens Div. I-A Northern League play with a three-game series at defending league champion Elko (3-2). The Vikings and Indians open the set Friday at 3:30 p.m. before playing a doubleheader Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
“Elko is a formidable team and always one of the top teams in the league, so it will give us a good measuring stick of where we are early,” Teevan said. “They play the same ball we do — a lot of small ball and they have decent pitchers — they’re very similar, so it will be a good gauge.”
VIKINGS JV SPLITS FOUR AT BEARMAN TOURNEY
RENO, Nev. — The South Tahoe junior varsity baseball team opened its season by splitting four games at the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament last week. The Vikings beat Wooster and league rival Elko by identical 11-1 margins on the first two days of the tournament before falling to Reno 12-0 and Galena 9-5 last Saturday.
In the tournament, Cameron Milam led the Vikings with five hits — the junior finished 5-for-9 with a double, seven RBIs and three runs. Junior Cameron McCarthy went 4-for-10 at the plate with four RBIs, a double and two runs — junior Andru Aquino, sophomore Alex Agiurre, sophomore Tristan Deatherage and freshman Quentin Marullo collected two hits apiece.
On the mound, Aquino and freshman Chris Pfister each threw five-inning complete game victories. Pfister led South Tahoe to a win over the Colts in its season opener Thursday, and Aquino pitched the Vikings past Elko the following day.