Whittell baseball gets back on track, downs Smith Valley 10-7
SMITH, Nev. — The Whittell baseball team got back on track with a road win Tuesday — but it wasn’t easy. The Warriors outlasted Smith Valley 10-7, rallying from an early deficit for a victory that officially secured a postseason berth.
“It was tougher than it should have been,” Warriors head coach Devin Ruby said. “But it’s exciting for the kids to lock in zone — it’s been awhile.”
Whittell (20-4, 10-2 IV Northern) opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI double from Colton Ruby. Smith Valley (2-10, 1-9) answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, scoring on four hits and two walks.
Sam Berry single-handedly manufactured a run for the Warriors in the top of the second to make it 3-2 — after being hit by a pitch with two outs, the sophomore stole second and scored on consecutive passed balls. The Bulldogs answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to stretch their lead back to two.
In the top of the third, the Warriors went back in front with four runs on four hits. Run-scoring hits from Ruby, Nic Buchholz and Peyton Galli put Whittell ahead — Galli scored on an error to make it 6-4.
Smith Valley scored in the bottom of the third to pull within a run, but the Warriors had an answer in the next half-inning. Whittell scored four runs for the second straight inning to take a 10-5 lead, extending its advantage with a two-run double from Buchholz and RBI singles by Ruby and Galli.
Smith Valley scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but didn’t get any closer the rest of the way as the game finished with three scoreless innings. Galli threw 3.0 shutout innings of relief to keep Whittell in front, scattering a hit and a run with eight strikeouts.
Offensively for the Warriors, Buchholz, Ruby and Galli did most of the damage on Tuesday — the trio combined for eight hits, eight RBIs and six runs. Buchholz went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and three runs, Ruby finished 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and two runs and Galli was 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run.
On the mound, Sharp battled through 4.0 innings to pick up the victory. Sharp allowed seven runs (four earned) on 19 hits, striking out six and walking two.
Whittell concludes its regular season with a doubleheader Saturday at Virginia City (14-2, 12-0) scheduled to start at noon. The Warriors need a sweep of the league-leading Muckers to claim a share of the Div. IV Northern League championship.
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