South Tahoe baseball swept at Elko to start league play
ELKO, Nev. — The South Tahoe baseball team received a wake-up call to start Div. I-A Northern League play last weekend. The Vikings were swept in a three-game series at Elko last Friday and Saturday, committing too many defensive miscues to match the defending champion Indians.
“This is a good judge of where we are early, and we’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make,” Vikings head coach Starbuck Teevan said. “It’s definitely an eye-opener for us — we’re going to see everybody’s best now and we have to rise to the occasion.
“We definitely didn’t do that this weekend.”
South Tahoe’s best chance to beat the Indians came in Friday’s series opener. The Vikings took a 5-4 lead with a five-run fourth inning, but Elko scored three unanswered runs over the fifth and sixth frames to pull out a 7-5 victory.
“It was definitely a game we should have stolen from them, but we gave it up late with some defensive errors,” Teevan said.
Elko opened the scoring Friday with four runs in the bottom of the second. After three scoreless innings, South Tahoe’s bats woke up — the Vikings scored five times in the top of the fourth to take the lead.
Starter Kolby Eymann (L, 0-2) pitched solidly in a losing effort, allowing seven runs — four earned — over six innings. Eymann struck out one, allowed 10 hits and walked five in the complete game loss.
“Kolby threw a very good game for us — just the errors didn’t help,” Teevan said.
River Quinn led South Tahoe with two hits in the loss, finishing 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Aaron Pfister and Will Mori each finished with a hit, run and RBI, Dakota Lynch and Paul Hoefer had a hit and an RBI and Eymann and Garret Harley both had a hit and a run.
“We tried to let it go heading into Saturday, but mistakes in the field kept coming,” Teevan said.
In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, South Tahoe suffered a 19-9 defeat. The Indians scored runs in every frame of the six-inning win to take their second straight against the Vikings.
South Tahoe trailed 2-0 after two innings in Saturday’s opener, and tied the game with two runs in the top of the third. Elko answered with six runs in the bottom of the frame to take an 8-2 lead — South Tahoe pulled within two runs during the next half inning, but the Indians responded with eight unanswered to remain comfortably in front.
Lynch (L, 1-1) allowed seven runs — four earned — on six hits and walked three over 2.1 innings. Offensively, he went 2-for-4 with a double and team-high four RBIs.
Harley went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs in the loss and Quinn was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run. Eymann had an RBI while Mori and Caleb Russell finished with one hit apiece.
“The hardest part is coming back in that third game after you’ve been 10-runned and having that fire and desire to steal a game,” Teevan said.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Vikings fell 17-12 to go winless in their first league series. South Tahoe kept pace with Elko early on before the Indians pulled away.
South Tahoe matched Elko in each of the first two innings, and the game was tied 6-6 headed into the third. The Vikings took a 7-6 lead before the Indians answered with five runs in the next half inning — STHS trailed 17-8 when it scored four runs in the top of the seventh.
“Elko is always one of the better teams and they pretty much played well all weekend,” Teevan said. “They pitched well, threw strikes, played good defense and got all the timely hits. We did just the opposite.”
Harley (L, 0-2) lasted four innings in the loss, allowing nine earned runs on 14 hits while striking out three and walking two. South Tahoe had three errors in the series finale to finish with 14 over the three-game set.
“As a pitcher, you want to know that your defense has your back — and we didn’t do a good job of that this weekend,” Teevan said.
Eymann went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs in the second game of Saturday’s twinbill. Harley finished with three hits, two RBIs and three runs while Hoefer, Lynch and Pfister had two hits apiece — Pfister ended up with a team-high four RBIs.
Last season, South Tahoe took two of three against Elko to open league play. This year, a sweep at the hands of the Indians will send the Vikings back to the drawing board.
“We were humbled a little bit,” Teevan said. “Now we have a real gauge of where we’re going to be in the league — after this weekend we have a lot of work to do.”
South Tahoe (2-6, 0-3 I-A Northern) returns to action Friday, when it begins a three-game series at Sparks (7-0, 3-0). First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. with Saturday’s doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
“They’re usually a good match for us — we’re going to go down there and give them a battle,” Teevan said. “I think we’re going to go into this weekend with a little more confidence and a little more fire in our bellies.”
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