Vikings see promise in season-ending series with Douglas |

Vikings see promise in season-ending series with Douglas

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor
Jim Grant/Tahoe TribuneSouth Tahoe's Peter Maes winds up during the Viking's closing day Saturday against Douglas at Todd Field.

Ending the season with a three-game set with Nevada 4A Sierra Division baseball runner-up Douglas wasn’t an enviable position for the South Tahoe High nine last weekend.

However, the Vikings made things difficult for the Tigers, extending two of the games to seven innings.

“We had Douglas concerned,” said STHS skipper Doug Russell, referring to a 15-7 defeat on Thursday in Minden. “Our kids took their best punch and really came back and set the tone for the weekend.”

Douglas only led 8-7 after four innings but used some clutch late-inning hits to put away the Vikings. Things got easier for the Tigers on Saturday as the swept the Vikings 10-2 and 15-1 at Todd Fields.

Sophomore Peter Maes survived Douglas’ seven-run first inning in Saturday’s opening game to pitch a complete game. Seven Douglas hits and two Viking errors led to the difficult start.

“You throw out that first inning and we’re playing the second-place team to 3-2,” Russell said. “Peter pitched a great game after that first inning.”

South Tahoe scored a run in the fifth and seventh innings on RBI singles by Steven Gerken and A.J. Russo.

STHS encountered a more-determined Tiger team in the second half of the twinbill as Douglas didn’t relax after scoring eight runs through two innings.

Starter Shawn McLaughlin pitched two innings, and Manny Herrera went the final three frames.

Gerken keyed the Viking attack on Thursday, swatting a two-run bases-loaded double in the fourth inning. Russo pitched the distance.

South Tahoe (2-16) finished sixth in the seven-team Sierra Division, edging out Hug, which also finished 2-16. The Vikings won the tiebreaker over Hug because they took two of the teams’ three meetings on the field.

The Vikings finished 6-20 overall.

“Overall, we met and even exceeded some expectations and goals we had,” Russell said. “Though you never want to go into a season wanting to play .250 baseball.

“Our greatest accomplishments were our mental approach and our ability to battle even the best teams in our league.”

And with many of his players returning next season, Russell is encouraged about the future of South Tahoe baseball.

“The league is definitely on notice that we’re young,” he said. “We’re knocking on the door and it’s up to the players and the program to meet those expectations.”

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