STHS finally earns a one-run victory
Viking score four in the 7th to win 7-6
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
Home games and one-run outcomes in the month of April weren’t a good combination for the South Tahoe baseball team.
The Vikings are on their way to starting a new trend in the month of May after scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh to post a 7-6 comeback nonleague victory over 3A Truckee Monday at Todd Fields.
“It’s always nice to get that first home win, but it’s also nice to win one of these one-run games,” said STHS coach Matt Tillson, whose team now is 1-7 at home this season.
Against their last two Sierra Division opponents, the Vikings lost 11-10 to Carson and 8-7 in eight innings to North Valleys. Both games were the first of a three-game series. Both were home games South Tahoe was in position to win.
On Monday, things didn’t look as promising for the Vikings.
The Wolverines went up 2-0 in the first inning when Jason Chapman scored off Scott Decker’s single and then Decker scored off an error. Truckee extended its lead to 4-0 in the third following Kevin Sahlberg’s two-run double, and Chapman’s RBI single in the fourth put the Wolverines up 5-1.
“I was fairly confident we would get some runs because we were hitting the ball hard,” Tillson said. “It was just going right to their guys. To be honest, even going into the seventh inning I felt pretty good.”
The Vikings (6-20) finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, when Buck Pershing’s sac fly scored Blaine Inglis, who doubled and scored from second base. The big offensive boost came in the fifth, when Chris Diana belted a first-pitch, two-run homer over the left-field fence to close the gap to 5-3.
“He just gave it to me … high and inside where I like it,” Diana said about his first homer as a varsity player. “We’ve had a lot of games like this so we knew we could come back.”
Zach Kropf replaced STHS starter Pershing in the fourth, and he turned in a sparkling performance in relief. Other than Chapman’s triple in the seventh, he shut down the Wolverines, striking out four batters and walking only one in four innings of work.
Kropf’s steady pitching allowed the Vikings to get back in the game, although his first win on the mound since beating Damonte Ranch wasn’t guaranteed until the seventh. Although an error by the Vikings in the top of the seventh allowed Truckee to go ahead 6-3, they negated that play in the bottom of the seventh.
Stephen Yarrow drew a walk to start the inning, then Bo Hallam singled to put runners on the corners. David Schue hit into a fielder’s choice, but Yarrow was able to score on the play.
Diana and Kevin Yelles both drew walks as South Tahoe trailed 6-4 with one out and the bases loaded. Truckee starter Sahlberg was replaced by Ben Tonon, a move that backfired on the Wolverines.
Tonon’s first three pitches resulted in hitting both Ian Rice and Inglis to tie the game at 6-6 and keeping the bases loaded. Pershing’s second sac fly of the game resulted in the game-winning run as Yelles trotted across the plate, giving the Vikings their first home win of the season.
“It’s unfortunate our record won’t show how good this team is,” Tillson said. “We’ve been in pretty much every game this season and there were about five or six games we were in position to win. We’ve kind of been hard-luck losers this season.”
South Tahoe hosts Hug on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Todd Fields.
STHS JVs edge Truckee
Kevin Lucero struck out six batters and went 2 for 3 with three stolen bases as the South Tahoe JV baseball team beat Truckee 5-3 Monday at Todd Fields.
Derek Holmgren continued his hot hitting by going 4 for 4 with two runs scored. Garrett Kankel hit a key two-run double, while Matt Marsh came off the bench in the sixth inning and hit a RBI single that gave the Vikings some breathing room at 5-3.
In a doubleheader on Saturday, North Valleys edged South Tahoe 10-9 in eight innings in the first game, then posted an 8-1 victory in the second game.
In the first game, Holmgren went 4 for 5 with a home run, a double and three runs scored. Kyle Mazzoni, Ivan Trebotich and Chris Simonian each recorded three hits apiece, while Jason Winslow went 2 for 4 with a home run.
South Tahoe hosts Hug on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
WHS-Smith Valley game canceled
The Whittell baseball team’s nonleague game against Smith Valley on Monday was canceled. The Warriors (9-10) play Virginia City today at 3:30 p.m. in Dayton. The Whittell softball team plays at Virginia City today at 3:30 p.m.
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