Baseball plagued by spring weather
The boys of summer felt more like the boys of winter this week, as they battled opponents while battling the elements.
The Wolverine Varsity Baseball team sits with an overall record of 12-11, and 6-6 in the league. While most teams have spent spring out on the field, Truckee has spent theirs fielding ground balls off of a hard wood floor.
“We are at a disadvantage compared to most teams, because we’ve spent our spring practicing indoors,” said head coach Jason Estabrook. “There’s just no substitute for practicing on a field.”
Truckee split its double-header with Yerington 12-4 and 3-4 on April 12, then suffered a loss to Bishop Manogue two days later by a score of 1-11. The team then split a double-header against Sutter the next day 1-3 and 7-6.
Things went well for the team the following Saturday as they beat ROP 21-0 and 10-0. In the second game pitcher Greg Gadsby was only one error away from throwing a perfect game.
But despite the weather, things are looking up for the squad. Yesterday they upset 11-4 Quincy with a final score of 7-5 at Hugg field in Reno. The Wolverines suffered what coach Estabrook called, “Their worst lose of the season,” to Quincy early this year 0-13.
“This was a big win. I’m really proud of the guys, and proud that our seniors are really showing leadership,” Estabrook said.
With practices still in the gym, defense was a questionable aspect of the game. Early on, Quincy found a few key holes to land runners on the bases. In the second inning with runners on first and third, Quincy tried a sacrifice bunt to advance runners. With no one covering first, the bunt left bases loaded with no outs.
Pitcher J.R. Murphy battled back to throw three straight strike outs, leaving Quincy with three stranded base runners.
In the third inning Murphy would again throw three strike-outs and no walks. In all, Murphy had 11 strikeouts. In the sixth inning Greg Gadsby came in to pitch relief throwing two strikeouts in his first inning. In the top of the seventh with bases loaded, Gadsby came up with three strikeouts to end the game. The pitching squad accounted for 16 strikeouts altogether.
“Our pitching is definitely coming along, it is probably our strong suit,” said Estabrook. This is not surprising considering pitching is one aspect not greatly effected by the indoor practices.
As far as offense goes, coach Estabrook thought the team was, “Still struggling at the plate, but they executed offensive plays.”
In the second inning, Jimmy Williams hit a nice line drive between the shortstop and second base. He then advanced to second on a passed ball, and then to third when Jacob Bohart hit a fly ball down the right field baseline.
Number four hitter Kevin Schlesinger then drove home both base runners with a ground-ball that took a hop over the pitchers’ mound and into the outfield.
In the top of the third, a passed ball allowed Quincy to tie the score at 2-2, then Williams was walked.
Bohart drove a shot through first and second, advancing Williams to third. After stealing second, Bohart and Williams are both driven home by Schlesinger with a hit to center field.
In all, Schlesinger had four RBI’s and three hits.
Jason Ames then hit a single that was badly bobbled by the short stop to advance Schlesinger.
Daniel Galvin nearly hit the same ball to the shortstop, who again bobbled the ball allowing Schlesinger to score. Shane Wright then drove home Ames bringing the score to 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Senior Kevin Finn belted a shoot clear over the center field fence for a stand-up home run.
“This was a good building game for us,” Estabrook said. “The mental aspect of the game is coming along, physical errors are going to happen, but if we have the mental aspect going for us good things will happen. I’m proud to death of the guys.”
The team has its eyes set on making the playoffs, but with Thursday’s game against Golden Sierra canceled due to weather, the Wolverines have one less day of playing on an actual field. With three games left in the season, the team needs to overcome the weather and their opponents to come up with two more victories. They will have a shot at those wins the next two weekends, playing a double header against Lowry this Saturday and then facing off against their league rivals North Tahoe in a double header the following Saturday. “We just have to be patient and work hard,” said Estabrook.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.