The Lakers now feel like they belong in the postseason every year.
That’s the kind of confidence that comes with a few consecutive playoff appearances.
Off to a 5-1 start in Division III play and 9-3 overall, the North Tahoe baseball team once again has all the ingredients of a contender. The Lakers boast a talented roster centered around a nucleus of six seniors and five juniors, all of whom are familiar with playing together.
“Especially with the juniors and seniors on the team who’ve been playing together for three or four years, defensively they just understand each other and play really well off of each other,” said first-year North Tahoe coach Brian Tidd, a former North Tahoe player who graduated in 2011.
Tidd took over for Matt Drury, who led the team the past two seasons, and is joined by his father Mike as his assistant.
They inherited a solid group that lost only three seniors to graduation — albeit some good ones, including ace pitcher Colin Spencer and power-hitting catcher Baird Bishop.
In Spencer’s place, seniors Wildon DesLauriers and Shane Christian take over the Lakers’ top starting pitchers, while senior Alex Tyler and junior Mitchell Myers are capable pitchers as well. All four pitchers can also catch.
Tyler, who also plays middle infield, leads off the batting order and is followed by DesLauriers, also a shortstop, Christian in the third slot and Myers in the cleanup hole. Christian and Myers also play outfield.
Speedy senior third baseman Alex Bourriague hits fifth in the order and is normally followed by sure-handed junior first baseman Miles Johansen, junior second baseman Lucas Earley, senior outfielder Tyler Olk and freshman outfielder Trent Lingruen.
Senior Hawk Ostrie, juniors Lupe Leon and Heber Hernandez, and sophomores Drew Austin and Rodrigo Mendoza round out the roster.
The Lakers opened their league schedule with doubleheader sweeps against winless West Wendover and White Pine and followed by splitting a doubleheader against Yerington on Monday. The top four of eight Northern Division III teams advance to the regional postseason, and it’s shaping into a battle among the top five clubs — Incline (6-0), Battle Mountain (6-0), North Tahoe (5-1), Pershing County (4-2) and Yerington (3-3).
“Getting a win against Yerington was pretty substantial,” Tidd said. “I don’t think we’ve ever beaten Yerington. It was a good morale booster for the team and kind of showed us where we’re at competitively.”
The Lakers are scheduled to tangle with rival Incline in a twin bill Saturday, April 19, at Incline.