Truckee baseball avenges earlier South Tahoe loss
The South Tahoe High baseball team started with a bang, but left with a whimper on Tuesday, losing 15-4 to Truckee High at Todd Fields.
South Tahoe jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings as Spencer Dean hit a two-run homer in the first and Randy Hensen an RBI double in the second. But it was all Truckee from there as the Wolverines touched South Tahoe starter Shawn McLaughlin for five runs Ð two unearned Ð in the third, including a three-run blast by cleanup hitter J.R. Murphy (his second homer in two games.)
“We got a three-run lead and I guess we thought that was good enough,” South Tahoe head coach Doug Russell said. “I didn’t see that emotionally we were ready to compete today.”
The Vikings, playing with several substitutes in the starting lineup, then turned to Dan Tinlin, who hadn’t pitched in three weeks after injuring his throwing shoulder. Predictably, Tinlin was rusty and surrendered four runs in the next inning before being relieved by Alan McDermott, leaving the Vikings with a 9-3 deficit.
Meanwhile, Truckee ace Murphy headed to the mound in the third inning and shut down the Vikings, striking out 10 and giving up a single run in the final frame.
“We got the lead, and J.R. only threw four innings last weekend, so I decided to bring him in,” Truckee head coach Jason Estabrook said. “He’s our No. 1 guy, and he pitched like it today.”
McDermott quieted the Wolverines’ offense through the sixth, but Dean surrendered six runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.
The middle of the Truckee lineup did most of the damage. Right fielder Shane Wright was 4 for 6 with three runs; Murphy went 2 for 4 with five RBIs, and center fielder Nik Smith was a perfect 5 for 5 with three doubles, three runs and two RBIs. Several of Truckee’s 20 hits were groundballs that found holes or short flyballs into the gaps, but the cumulative effect was an offensive outburst that stunned the Vikings.
Tuesday’s loss was the fourth straight for South Tahoe (2-9), which got its only full-game win against Truckee last week as the two teams combined to make 18 errors. With three games against Sierra League favorite Douglas High to finish the week, the Vikings face a tough road back to a respectable record.
“I sure hope we learned something about ourselves today,” Russell said. “I’m very curious to see how we respond.”
Truckee’s record improves to 10-2 overall. It brings a 2-1 Northern 3A league record into a doubleheader at Dayton on April 3 starting at noon.
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