Truckee baseball: Wolverines sweep playoff series from Lions | SierraSun.com

Truckee baseball: Wolverines sweep playoff series from Lions

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunTruckee junior Tanner Churich slides safely into third for a triple during the Wolverines' 13-9 win against Yerington on Saturday. Truckee won the first two games of the best-of-three Northern 3A playoff series.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Wolverines advanced to the 3A state championship tournament with a 13-9 win against Yerington in Game 2 of their best-of-three playoff series Saturday.

The win marked Truckee’s 16th straight, which ranks fourth in Nevada high school baseball history, according to the NIAA Record Book.

Truckee, the top Northern 3A seed at 18-2 in league and 26-6 overall, will open the state tournament against second-seeded Spring Creek from the North on Thursday at Wooster High School in Reno.

In the other state tournament opener, top-seeded Virgin Valley from the South plays Dayton, the No. 3 Northern seed. The state tournament continues Friday at Wooster and concludes Saturday at Aces Ballpark in Reno.

A day after collecting only six hits in a 4-1 win to open the regional series, the Wolverines pounded out 17 hits Saturday while never trailing after the top of the first inning.

The sixth-seeded Lions (5-15 league) made things interesting with a five-run seventh, but senior left-hander Ryan Zusy ended the rally with consecutive strikeouts with a runner on second to secure the win.

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and#8220;We were a little ahead of ourselves (Friday), a little too anxious. But we settled down today and hit the ball well,and#8221; said Truckee junior catcher James DePew, who did his share of damage at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI.

Senior Brian Matthew started and lasted five innings to earn the win for the Wolverines. He allowed four runs while striking out three before junior Ben Bolton came on to pitch a scoreless sixth.

Yerington applied pressure from the get-go with a two-run top of the first, then twice battled back to narrow the margin after Truckee built what appeared to be comfortable leads.

Truckee head coach Mike Ellis credited a gritty pitching effort from Matthew, who he said did not have his A-game from the start.

and#8220;That was the worst outing I’ve seen Brian have all season. I knew from his second warm-up pitch he didn’t have his best stuff,and#8221; Ellis said. and#8220;But he battled. He competed. You’re not going to have your best stuff out there every time.and#8221;

The Wolverines wasted little time getting on the board against Lions starter Cole Aiazzi, as they scored four times on five solid hits with two outs in the first to take a 4-2 lead. Truckee added a couple of runs in the second before Tommy Kinsey, Yerington’s No. 9 hitter, connected for a two-run home run in the fourth to cut the lead to 6-4.

Truckee’s offense went right back to work, scoring four more runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to take a 13-4 lead.

The Lions didn’t go down without a fight, however, as they started the seventh against Truckee senior Jordan Deiro with a base hit, two walks and two more base hits before Zusy came in with two on and no outs, and with three runs already in. Zusy walked the first batter to load the bases, then gave up a two-RBI single before ending it with a groundout and back-to-back strikeouts.

and#8220;We didn’t give up,and#8221; said Yerington head coach Stephen Schreibeis. and#8220;We kept coming back. That’s baseball. It was fun. Truckee is a good team. We wish them luck at state.and#8221;

Deiro continued his solid defensive play at shortstop while going 3 for 4 with a double. Matthew helped his cause with a 3-for-4 day with a double and an RBI. Maclane Brady, Friday’s winning pitcher, went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI, Zusy was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Matt Theis was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI, and Tanner Churich was 3 for 3 with a triple and two RBI.

and#8220;We just need to stay focused at this point,and#8221; DePew said. and#8220;We can’t look ahead. We just need to play our game and play hard baseball. If we do that we can take it all.and#8221;