Aces Ballpark has become somewhat of a home away from home for the Truckee and South Tahoe baseball teams.
The clubs took over the professional ballpark — home of the Triple-A Reno Aces — for their annual league contest Monday, four years after becoming the first high school teams to play a game there. Other schools followed their lead, and the ballpark now hosts several high school games every season.
In this year’s Aces Ballpark showdown between the Wolverines and Vikings, South Tahoe held off a late Truckee comeback to escape with a 7-5 league win. The win completed the Vikings’ three-game series sweep.
The action began with late Truckee baseball coach Mike Ellis’ father, Jack Ellis, throwing out the first pitch, which he tossed across the plate for a strike. Mike Ellis, who was instrumental in getting the Truckee-South Tahoe Aces Ballpark tradition started in 2010, died on April 5.
South Tahoe took a 2-1 lead after the first inning and added three more runs in the third and two in the sixth to extend the margin to 7-1.
The young Truckee squad battled back, however, scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth and three more in the seventh off of South Tahoe relievers Sergio Bugueno and Liam Loftis to cut the deficit to two. But the rally came up short as the Vikings improved to 12-5 in Division I-A play and Truckee fell to 3-11.
Senior Riley Guiragossian started on the mound for the Wolverines and allowed five runs in five innings on 11 hits and a walk. He struck out eight batters along the way. JJ Bellon gave up two runs in two innings of relief.
The Wolverines managed seven hits in the contest as South Tahoe starter Garret Harley kept their bats quiet through five innings.
Truckee junior catcher Connor Nicholas drove in two runs on one hit, while Bellon doubled and contributed an RBI and Thor Retzlaff had an RBI. Gavin Broad, Guiragossian, Teagan Pado, Ty Vaio and Nico Gardella had one hit apiece.
Truckee is scheduled to play at Lowry on Thursday and Friday and at Sparks on Tuesday. The Wolverines then host a league series against Dayton on May 2-3.