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Wins are tough to come by averaging more than an error per inning. The Truckee High baseball team averaged more than an error per inning Wednesday.
Not surprisingly, Truckee’s nine runs were not enough to overcome the 11 errors it committed in a 15-9 nonleague loss against visiting Loyalton.
“We were just booting the ball around,” said Truckee head coach Mike Ellis, who spent the bulk of the day prepping his home field for the first game played there all season.
“We made error after error. It was ridiculous. I’m kind of upset about it.”
Facing a committee of three Truckee pitchers ” Scott Mathot, Myles Allen and Clayton McDonnell ” the Grizzlies scored in every inning but the sixth, while the Wolverines posted all nine runs in the first three innings.
By the end of the first, Truckee seemed poised to slug out a win after sending 10 hitters to the plate and taking a 7-2 lead. But after scoring a single run in the second and another in the third, Truckee’s offense went flat, leaving runners stranded on base when not going down silently.
When Wolverines did reach base ” plenty did between Loyalton errors and walks and six Truckee hits ” they were running. Oftentimes, Ellis sent runners on the first pitch. And it worked, as the Wolverines were a perfect 9-for-9 in the stolen base department.
While Truckee pitchers struggled at times to find the strike zone, the Grizzlies’ big innings ” particularly the second and fifth, when they scored five runs and four ” could have been minimized had a number of routine plays been made.
Instead, balls that seemed wrapped up in leather for sure outs squirted out and to the ground, and cleanly scooped ground balls were sent off line of their targets.
“I ran (the players) afterward,” Ellis said, still irritated a day after the loss. “And we had good practices all week. I just don’t get it.”
Besides the offensive outburst in the first inning, the highlight of the game for the Wolverines came in the second, when senior Keven Sahlberg blasted a line drive over the center fielder’s head all the way to the fence 400 feet away.
Sahlberg was off to the races, rounding second about the same time the outfielder tracked down the ball. Ellis waved him in, and Sahlberg crossed home plate standing for a solo inside-the-park home run.
Truckee scored another run the following inning on a Loyalton error, and from there, the home team didn’t give its home crowd much to cheer about.
Offensively, Truckee senior Pablo Esquivel went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and three stolen bases. Sahlberg was 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs, Trevor Allen was 1 for 3 and Justin Vosburgh was 1 for 4 with a double. Michael Taylor and Michael Fagan each had an RBI.
“I hope this wakes them up before we play Lowry (on Friday),” Ellis said.
Truckee plays three Northern 3A league games at Lowry on Friday and Saturday. The Wolverines are 3-6 in league.