Laker baseball back in business
With a nearly full roster of athletically and academically talented players and a new home in the Northern 2A, the North Tahoe High baseball team is looking ahead to the real deal this year ” a down and dirty season of road trippin’ and rounding the bases.
Getting back in the full swing of things feels tremendous for head coach Jack Bernardo and his Laker players after widespread academic problems left them unable to field a team in time to compete in league play last season. Instead, the Lakers played a limited schedule under independent status.
A year older, wiser and stronger, the North Tahoe squad returns several players from last season, including four standout seniors ” pitcher Sean Bernardo, first baseman Taylor Good, shortstop Tyler Turpin and third baseman Tyler Phillips.
Defensive ace Turpin ” who had zero errors last year ” attested to the teams strengths at practice Tuesday.
“Our infield and pitching are pretty good,” he said. “We have a decent team, but we need to improve a few key positions.”
After a handful of preseason games, coach Bernardo likes what he sees at the plate.
“Hitting is one of our strengths right now,” the coach said. “We’re hitting the ball hard.”
Leading off with the top two spots in the Laker batting lineup will be juniors Chris Cahill and Zack Tomlinson, with the four seniors, Good, Bernardo, Turpin and Phillips, rounding out the third through sixth hitters.
Good, a lefty who plays year-round, showed his batting prowess this past weekend against Portola by smacking a homer ” the first Laker dinger in two seasons.
On the mound, North Tahoe will rely on the arm of seasoned pitcher Sean Bernardo, who throws a good curve, slider and changeup to compliment his fastball.
Moving from the Northern 3A to the Northern 2A should also be a blessing for the Lakers, as they will face competition from equally sized schools. Despite having not seen any of 2A teams play, Phillips felt they would have “better odds” in the new division.
Coach Bernardo joked that he needed a new set of directions.
“I don’t even know where the fields are,” he said. “We’re hoping the team’s basketball players can help us find some of these places.”
Still practicing and playing home games in Carson City, the Lakers hope to clear their snowy field in Tahoe Vista in time for a handful of games mid April. Until then, North Tahoe’s home is on the road, whether that be on a neutral field in Carson or at the opponent’s home field as scheduled.
Phillips holds high hopes for the Lakers.
“Our goal is to keep a team on the field, stay above .500 and, most of all, to have fun.”
” Sylas Wright contributed to this report