Tillson’s team takes second at tourney
If a recent performance is any indication, next year’s South Tahoe High School baseball team could emerge as a playoff contender.
Playing against mostly varsity level competition representing several Northern Nevada high schools, the Matt Tillson-led Tahoe Tsunami finished second out of 12 teams at the Sparks Tribe Memorial Day Classic last week in Sparks.
“We actually played pretty well considering how young we are,” Tillson said. “We have one of the younger teams when we played against these teams.”
After going 2-2 in pool play, Tahoe beat host Sparks 12-0 in the semifinals and lost 2-1 to North Valleys in the championship game. In pool play action, the Tsunami lost to North Valleys 11-3 in its first game, then came back to beat the Carson Cardinals 11-3 in the game two.
Ryan Woods pitched four innings and struck out four batters and went 2 for 3 in the win over Carson. Zach Kropf went 3 for 3 and Jason Winslow and Kevin Lucero both went 2 for 3.
In a 12-10 win over Spanish Springs in its third pool play game, Lucero and Kropf each went 2 for 4 as South Tahoe beat the Cougars’ full varsity squad. The Sparks Tribe beat South Tahoe 7-5 in the final pool play, setting up a rematch between the two teams in the semifinals.
In the semifinal, Winslow provided a three-run home run and Kevin Yelles pitched five innings with four strikeouts to lead Tahoe to a 12-0 victory that ended because of the mercy rule. In the championship game against North Valleys, Buck Pershing pitched a solid game but couldn’t pull out the win in a game that lasted nine innings.
Tillson, who will be entering his third season as the Vikings’ varsity coach, had a tournament roster that included six freshman, five sophomores, two juniors and one senior. The tournament was comprised of Joe Dimaggio-level teams.
The Tsunami played their next game at Todd Fields on Friday against the Muckdogs, a Reno-based team that has about a half dozen High Desert League all-stars on its roster. The Muckdogs beat Tahoe 9-0, but the Tsunami rebounded to beat the Reno Silver Sox 11-1 in five innings on Sunday in Reno.
Yelles pitched five innings and struck out five and allowed just five hits against the Silver Sox. David Schue went 2 for 3 with three RBI, Winslow 2 for 3 with an RBI and Ivan Trebotich 2 for 4 to lead Tahoe offensively.
The Tsunami’s next game is on Wednesday at Galena.