Vikings powerful in doubleheader defeat
Four home runs, including a pair of three-run shots, should have done the job in keeping South Tahoe High in the thick of the Nevada 4A baseball playoff chase Saturday in Sparks.
However, five errors in the first game and seven more in the second denied the Vikings from adding to a modest two-game winning streak as Sparks won 15-11 and 10-4.
“We hit the ball great, but we dropped fly balls and we missed cutoffs,” said STHS skipper Doug Russell. “Two wins would have tied us for eighth (playoff) position. We really had our sights set for four wins this week. We played very well Tuesday and Thursday, and knew we had to today and just didn’t play up to par.”
Power hitting repeatedly gave the Vikings new life in the opener. Toby O’Brien lifted a three-run big fly in the first frame, but the Railroaders battled back for a 5-3 lead after two. But Brandon Tinlin’s two-run blast tied it at 5 in the fourth and Matt Connelly’s first-pitch homer in the fifth evened the score at 6.
Sparks regained the lead 11-7 in its half of the fifth, only to see John Capitani’s three-run roundtripper tie it at 11 in the sixth.
The Vikings ran out of big flies after Sparks put up a four-spot in the sixth. STHS stranded two runners in its last at-bat.
O’Brien started on the mound and was relieved by Cory Poulen in the third inning. Poulen took the loss and gave way to Mike Hennessy – who shut out Fallon on Thursday – in the sixth.
Distraught at seeing their win streak end, the Vikings came out flat in game two. Despite four solid innings of work by pitcher Jarred Uppendahl, the Railroaders had little trouble completing the sweep.
“We had seven errors in the second game, so Jarred was victimized by a lot of bad defense,” Russell said.
STHS hit well early in game two, but Sparks’ pitching was too solid over the final four innings.
Hennessy and Royce Reardon each collected three hits in two games. One of Reardon’s hits was a double in the second game. O’Brien stroked a double and single in game two after homering in the opener; Capitani doubled and homered in the first game; and Connelly cracked two hits, including a homer.
One of the league’s best teams, Douglas, visits the Vikings on Tuesday at Todd Fields. Even though the Vikings (4-14 in league) are on the brink of elimination and three of the league’s best teams come to town this week, Russell says there is no reason to back down.
“We decided to pick this fight, trying to get ourselves in a playoff run, and we need to back it up,” Russell said. “It’s certainly not over yet. Today was a setback, but if the kids aren’t believing they can beat anyone right now, then they haven’t seen the same baseball team I’ve been watching at home.”
Vikings drop three games
A day after Reed upset nationally ranked Wooster to hand the Colts their first Northern Nevada 4A League softball defeat, the Raiders didn’t find any breather Friday at the home of the league’s last-place club.
Reed only led South Tahoe 3-0 after three innings and was retired twice in order during the remaining frames. However, the Raiders broke it open with a five-run fourth and didn’t allow a three-run Viking fourth unsettle them en route to an 11-3 victory.
Scoring was even more of a problem for the Vikings on Saturday as they delivered only eight hits and one run in a doubleheader loss to Hug at the Field of Dreams.
The doubleheader began in promising fashion as Tammy Cowen tripled and scored on a Jill Barna double for a 1-0 STHS lead after one frame. But Hug scored 16 unanswered runs to complete the sweep, 10-1 and 6-0.
The two first-inning hits for extra bases were the Vikings’ only hits in the opener. Hug went ahead for good, 2-1, in the fourth frame and padded its lead with eight runs on five errors over the rest of the game.
Vanessa Porter pitched well in defeat, striking out four while allowing one walk and three earned runs.
The Vikings produced six hits in game two but couldn’t mark the scoring column.
“We left a ton of people on base and we had runner interference when a base hit heading into centerfield careened off Corrine (Edwards’) foot,” said STHS manager Rich Barna.
Heather Roderick surrendered all of Sparks’ runs before giving way to the deceptive Porter in the third inning.
All of STHS’s hits were singles, including one-baggers by Stefanie Terry, Barna, Porter, Kendra Terry, Tabitha Porter and Edwards. The Vikings stranded six baserunners and struck out 10 times.
“Our pitchers we’re doing well, but we made some errors,” Barna said.
Barna and Terry also smacked extra-base hits against Reed with Barna tripling in a run and Terry clobbering a run-scoring double.
Coach Barna will spice up his club’s season finale against Galena on Friday at the Field of Dreams. His seniors will collectively decide on the starting lineup.
“We have eight seniors and all our seniors will play from start to finish,” he said. “We’re going out to play spoiler.”
Galena is in contention for one of the league’s eight playoff berths.
Two weeks of inactivity did little to dampen Whittell High’s track and field competitiveness as the Warrior boys placed second and the girls fourth in an eight-team meet Saturday in Lovelock.
Senior Luke Forvilly won three events and sophomore Casey Lee two to lead the WHS boys by all its 2A peers. Hayley Shaw won the 3,200 meters and was runner-up in the mile and Shelly Zaskoda placed in four events as the WHS girls beat all the 2A competition and trailed the 3A’s Fernley, Dayton and Yerington.
“We were a little off knowing where our mark is and being able to adjust our positioning, but competition-wise we were pretty sharp being able to mix it up,” said WHS coach Brian Rippet.
Lee led wire to wire to win the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 16 seconds and edged past teammate Joel Warnick to win the high jump with fewer misses after each cleared 5 feet, 10 inches. The sophomore also placed second in the mile run (5:02), leading for 1,400 meters on a dirt track.
Forvilly won the 100 meters in 11.4 and was unsurpassed in the 110 high hurdles and 200 meters. In addition, he combined with Chauncey Lane, Warnick and Phil Bowman to claim first in the 4-by-100 relay in 1:39.2. Whittell was victories in the 4-by-800 as well, with Lee, Justin Alexander, Mike Chilton and Brian Beebe pulling off the feat in 9:37.
Shaw lapped two runners and didn’t let the windy conditions bother her in winning the 3,200 in 15:15. She finished second in the mile at 6:26.
A personal-best long jump of 13-4 highlighted Zaskoda’s busy-and- productive meet. Besides a fourth-place finish in long jump, Zaskoda was fifth in triple jump (28-2), fourth in the 300 hurdles and part of the third-place 4-by-100 relay team.
Jackie Laurian turned in one of her better meets of the season, placing runner-up in high jump (4-2) and second in the 3,200 meters (15:40).
Whittell competes in the Yerington Relays on Saturday at 9 a.m.
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