Tahoe Twins set to host Reno Astros at North Tahoe Regional Park | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Twins set to host Reno Astros at North Tahoe Regional Park

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunSteve Derby stands in the Twins dugout after a three-run homer last season at North Tahoe Regional Park. The Twins will host two doubleheaders against the Reno Astros, on May 15 and 22.

TAHOE VISTA and#8212; Surely there are easier ways to start a season.

The Tahoe Twins kick off their second season Saturday at noon with a nonleague doubleheader at home against the Reno Astros, an independent semi-pro team that has fielded 24 major-leaguers since 1993, according to the team website. Most notably, Boston Red Sox starter and 2003 World Series MVP Josh Beckett once played for the Astros, while five Astros players signed pro contracts in 2008 and four in 2009.

and#8220;Hopefully we keep it in the ballpark,and#8221; said Twins skipper Bob Habeger. and#8220;Those guys are pretty good.and#8221;

Last year the Astros finished on a 40-game win streak and were 58-12 overall, including a win against the first-year Twins.

That Twins team from a year ago wasn’t shabby, either, as it finished 21-3 in its inaugural season and 16-0 in the Western Nevada chapter of the National Adult Baseball Association (NABA). The Twins and#8212; a team made up mostly of North Tahoe and Truckee high grads and#8212; went on to lose in the playoff round of the NABA World Championship Series in Phoenix in October.

Not everyone returns from that group, however, namely 2009 league MVP J.R. Murphy. Habeger said Murphy, a 2004 Truckee High grad, is on the roster but is living in San Diego, meaning he’ll likely only join the team for the NABA World Series. Slugger Jesse Brown, who graduated from North Tahoe in 2004, also might not rejoin the team, while Habeger is unsure about the status of Jimmy Williams and Nick Smith.

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But plenty of Twins do return, the coach said, including the Habeger brothers and#8212; Bobby, Andy and Jamy and#8212; Steve Derby, Joe Thomas, Jesse Hildebrandt, Scott Decker, Drew Lipnosky and Franklin Orlando, among others. The Twins also gained a few quality players in the offseason, Habeger said.

They’ll have their work cut out for them this summer, as Habeger assembled a challenging schedule that includes 18 games against the Astros and a number of contests against competitive clubs from out of the area. Habeger also expects the Western Nevada chapter of the NABA to be more competitive this season, as it now includes only the Twins, a squad from Dayton that combined last year’s Fallon and Carson teams, and the Northern Nevada Major League Baseball scout team.

and#8220;Last year we were something like 21-3. This year it could easily be the other way around,and#8221; Habeger said. and#8220;But all in all it will be better for us in the (NABA) World Series.and#8221;

The Astros typically start their season at home, but instead are hitting the road while negotiating with the City of Reno on their ballpark, Moana Stadium. In addition to Saturday’s games, the Astros and Twins are scheduled to play another doubleheader at North Tahoe Regional Park the following Saturday, May 22, at the same times.

Admission is free at the Tahoe Vista ballpark, which got a new scoreboard in the outfield and railings in the dugout during the offseason.

For more information about the Reno Astros, visit their website at http://www.therenoastros.com.