South Tahoe baseball sweeps Fernley, moves into 2nd place |

South Tahoe baseball sweeps Fernley, moves into 2nd place

Anthony Gentile

FERNLEY, Nev. — In its final road series of the regular season, the South Tahoe baseball team delivered a crucial sweep. The Vikings swept Fernley in a three-game series last weekend, wins that move them into a tie for second place in Div. I-A Northern League.

“It was very important — they were riding a four-game winning streak, so we knew they were going to be tough,” Vikings coach Starbuck Teevan said. “For our confidence level, it’s big.”

Following a four-day Spring Break trip that included camping on the Northern California coast, South Tahoe (14-7, 12-4) produced a 12-11 comeback win in its series opener with the Vaqueros last Friday. The Vikings erased an early five-run deficit and held on in a back-and-forth contest.

“It could have been a quick game, but the kids responded with a couple runs in the second and third — next thing you know we were in the lead,” Teevan said. “We never really looked back after that.

“For our confidence level, it’s big.”Starbuck TeevanSTHS head coach, on the Vikings sweeping Fernley

“Our Spring Break trip helped and they were refreshed — after the first inning they really showed it.”

Both teams pitched their aces last Friday — but a pitching duel between South Tahoe’s Garret Harley and Fernley’s unbeaten starter Kevin Montogomery never materialized. Fernley (10-8, 7-7) scored five runs in the first inning off Harley before the Vikings rallied and the game became an offensive slugfest.

“It was a battle the rest of the game — we scored and they scored,” Teevan said. “We ended up winning, but it was a really close game there at the end.”

South Tahoe finished with 14 hits, led by Aaron Pfister — the senior went 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs. Dakota Lynch finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run, Paul Hoefer was 2-for-4 with two runs and Kolby Eymann had two hits, an RBI and two runs — Justin Cain, Caleb Russell and Will Mori each added a hit an and RBI.

“After the first inning, we changed our approach — (Montgomery) throws hard and we were trying to swing too hard,” Teevan said. “We just started putting the ball on the ground hard and finding holes here and there.”

Harley (W, 4-2) threw 5.2 innings, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on 10 hits while striking out three and walking seven. Lynch (S, 2) allowed a run on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief to close out the win.

“He definitely didn’t have his best game, but he found a way to throw strikes and battle through it,” Teevan said of Harley.

South Tahoe opened Saturday’s doubleheader with a 15-3 win over the Vaqueros. The Vikings matched their season high in runs in the five-inning victory.

“We kept the same approach as we did the day before — short swings, get it in play and put the pressure on them,” Teevan said.

Against Fernley’s hard-throwing starter Shane Kelso, South Tahoe was again able to deliver offensively. The Vikings finished with 13 hits led by Hoefer, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.

Mori finished with a team-high five RBIs, and went 2-for-2 with a double and a run. Lynch was 2-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and two runs, Harley went 2-for-4 with a triple and Pfister was 2-for-2 with three runs — Logan Brewer added an RBI double.

“We hit the ball all day,” Teevan said.

After allowing three runs in the first, Eymann (W, 3-3) kept Fernley off the scoreboard. The left-hander allowed three runs on six hits over 5.0 innings, striking out two and walking two.

In the second game of the twinbill, South Tahoe completed the series sweep with an 8-6 win. The Vikings rallied from an early three-run deficit to notch their fourth straight win.

“It was really close and back and forth throughout the game,” Teevan said.

In the victory, Lynch and Russell each collected three hits apiece — Lynch went 3-for-4 with a triple, RBI and two runs while Russell was 3-for-3 with a run. Brewer finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, Hoefer went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs, and Pfister was 2-for-5 with two runs — Mori and Eymann each added an RBI.

Lynch (W, 6-1) struggled in his first trip through Fernley’s lineup, but settled in to throw a complete game and win his fifth straight appearance. In 7.0 innings, Lynch allowed five earned runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

“Dakota battled through and once we got up for good, that’s all he needed — he went out and shut the door on them,” Teevan said. “I was really happy with his performance and our defensive performance.”

The sweep moves South Tahoe into a tie with Fallon (11-8, 11-3) for second place in Div. I-A Northern League. The Vikings and Greenwave are each a half-game behind league-leading Elko (16-6, 13-4).

“We have three goals — and the first one is trying to win league,” Teevan said. “This sweep really helped our chances.”

The Vikings returned to action Tuesday against Dayton at Todd Fields Park, and conclude the regular season by playing seven of their last eight games at home. South Tahoe has this weekend off before its next series, a three-game set against Spring Creek April 24-25.

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