South Shore baseball fans probably can’t remember the last time South Tahoe High’s program got off to a 3-0 start.
The Vikings remained unbeaten with a 7-3 win over Lowry and a 6-5 come-from-behind victory against Fallon in the Carson tournament over the weekend.
With the Vikings struggling a bit at the plate, manager Matt Tillson put the pressure on the opposition by putting his baserunners in motion.
“We’re doing the little things right now – getting squeeze bunts down, stealing bases and moving the runners along,” Tillson said. “We weren’t putting good swings on the ball, but we manufactured the runs.”
Doubt entered Tillson’s mind as his club trailed Fallon 5-2 entering the sixth inning on Saturday.
But a bloop single by Gary Prescott ignited a four-run rally for the Vikings. Winslow followed with a walk and the two baserunners moved up by stealing a base. Then Max DeLallo worked a full count before delivering a two-run double to the gap in right-center field.
An error allowed Matt Marsh to reach base and moved DeLallo to third. Kyle DiGrande grounded out to score DeLallo with the tying run. With Marsh on third, Otto Trebotich’s squeeze bunt chased home the deciding run.
“That was a big win,” Tillson said, noting that the Fallon program finished third behind Galena and the Reno Sun Devils in last summer’s Joe DiMaggio tournament.
Trebotich started and lasted 4 2/3 innings. Chris Ewing got out of a fifth-inning jam with a fly out, then Kevin Yelles came on to record the final six outs for the win. Yelles didn’t allow a hit and struck out two.
“He wants the ball at the end of a game,” Tillson said. “He’s a good closer because he throws strikes.”
Prescott and Marsh led the Vikings with two hits apiece.
To start the season 4-0, STHS must beat Galena, last year’s state runner-up, today in its final tournament game.
“It’s a big test for us (today),” Tillson said. “I don’t think our kids will be intimidated by it. They are starting to believe in themselves right now.”
Marsh threw a five-hitter over 5 1/3 innings as the South Tahoe defeated Lowry on Friday.
“We weren’t expecting that kind of performance at all,” Tillson said. “He only threw once on JV last year, but my brother told me about him. He likes his stuff and his mound presence.”
Marsh was lifted after an 80-pitch count, and DiGrande closed out the win after the Buckaroos pulled to within 4-3 in the sixth. DiGrande came on to pitch in the sixth after committing an error while colliding with shortstop Trebotich. After walking his first batter and falling behind 2-0 on his next hitter, DiGrande came back for a strikeout and the third out of the inning. In the seventh, he struck out the side.
“It was a huge performance by him,” Tillson said. “After making an error, the error could have carried over to the mound, but to his credit, it didn’t.”
Marsh gave the Vikings some insurance with a two-run double in the sixth inning. DiGrande scored the final run by coming home on a passed ball after singling, stealing second and third.
DiGrande was 2 for 3, while Derek Holmgren and Jason Winslow each had a base hit and RBI. Yelles executed a squeeze bunt to score Jake Leonard with the Vikings’ fourth run. Leonard had two runs scored.
Warriors off to 3-1 start
Falling behind wasn’t such a bad thing for the Whittell High baseball team on Friday and Saturday.
The Warriors trailed in their first three games of the Yerington tournament but came back to win each time in posting a 3-1 record in the two-day tournament in Smith.
Whittell received two complete game pitching performances and scored a combined 20 runs in their three victories.
Behind the three-hit pitching of Ben Ward, the Warriors rallied to beat Portola 5-4 on Friday. Ward delivered a two-run double to score Anthony Taricco and Alex Potnick during a decisive five-run second inning that wiped out a 3-0 deficit.
Carter Amaral and Cameron Fields also hit singles during the rally, with Fields scoring the winning on a suicide squeeze bunt by Nicholas Shepack. Fields stole second and third bases to get into scoring position.
Ward fanned three in 4 1/3 innings to earn the win.
Potnick threw a complete-game two-hitter while striking out seven in Whittell’s 7-1 triumph over Smith Valley on Friday.
After falling behind 1-0, Whittell scored twice in the third inning. Amaral’s run-scoring triple highlighted a two-run uprising. Whittell blew it open with five runs in the fourth. Potnick and Sam Harris each had two RBIs in the inning, with three walks and five stolen bases setting up the rally.
On Saturday, Mammoth took a 3-0 first-inning lead, but the Warriors bounced back for an 8-5 win. Four-run scoring flurries in the first and second innings aided Whittell’s comeback.
Amaral went the distance, allowing four hits and one walk, while fanning three. He overcame a sloppy effort behind him as the Warriors committed six errors.
In their tournament finale, defending Nevada 2A state champion Silver Springs routed Whittell 16-0.
“The wheels came off, but we now we know where we have to be to compete for a playoff berth,” said Whittell manager Don Amaral. “I was very pleased with the (tournament) outcome. We played exceptionally well in day one – Ward and Potnick were dominant on the mound. In game three we hit well and had trouble fielding.”
Whittell (3-1) plays Truckee’s JV at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lampe Park.