Incline baseball, softball | Even split against visiting Warriors
The Incline baseball and softball teams both split their Mount Rose League doubleheaders against visiting Whittell on Saturday.
The baseball team lost its first game 6-4 and won the second 17-7, and the softball team won 3-0 before losing 24-10.
In softball action, Incline junior pitcher Sarah Wright held the Warriors (17-12) to four hits in a complete-game shutout. She worked around seven walks and had two strikeouts.
Her counterpart, Amanda Harris, was pretty good herself. She gave up only five hits and one earned run while striking out eight.
Incline (8-13) scored all three runs in the third inning, with Elise Nelson and Molly Franklin contributing an RBI apiece. Kortney Solis went 2-for-3 with a double, while Briana Barraza had a double, and Nelson and Franklin each singled.
Emily Harris and Kendall Ferris had Whittell’s only hits.
Game 2 did not turn out as well for the hosts. Whittell scored at least two runs in every inning, including six in the second and 11 in the third to take a 19-4 lead. The game was called after five innings on the 10-run rule.
The Highlanders managed 13 hits, with Maddie Findlen leading the way with a 3-for-4 game with a home run, triple and three RBIs. Nelson, Franklin, Wright and Solis each had two hits, while Caitlin May and Caroline May each had one hit. Solis, Wright, Caitlin May, Nelson and Franklin each contributed an RBI.
The Incline baseball team (8-15-1) never got its offense going in Game 1 of its doubleheader, which was a duel from the start between Incline’s Tommy Dolan and Whittell’s Matt Elliott.
Both pitchers dominated early, with Dolan striking out the first six batters he faced, and Elliott whiffing the side in the third. Neither gave up a hit heading into the bottom of the fourth in a scoreless game.
Incline broke through first. An outfield error and hit batsman set the table for Masxsimo Battel. The Incline junior swung hard at an Elliott fastball and nubbed a slow roller along third for the game’s first hit, also bringing home the first run for Incline. Owen Graffis followed with a perfect squeeze bunt and Incline led 2-0.
The Warriors rallied back. With two out and no one on, Kody Dangtongdee and Sharp each walked, giving leadoff hitter Cody Gibson a chance to face Dolan for the third time. The senior lefty responded with a booming triple to left-center, breaking up the no-hitter and tying the game 2-2.
But Elliott and Dolan regained command — Elliott breezing through the fifth, and Dolan striking out the Warrior side for the third time in the sixth inning.
In the home half of the sixth, Incline took the lead again when Tommy Thompson and Cam Powell smacked consecutive doubles. Later in the frame, an error allowed Powell to score and the Highlanders headed to the seventh leading 4-2.
The Warriors were down to their last chance with the bottom of their order due up, and with only one hit off of Dolan, who had 16 strikeouts.
Quinn Kixmiller worked his way on with a walk. Dangtongdee also coaxed a free pass from Dolan, who had now thrown 117 pitches and was relieved by Battel. One out later, Gibson ripped a double to the gap in right, bringing in Kixmiller. But Incline still led 4-3.
One batter later, Elliott walked to the plate with two outs. The powerful junior was walked intentionally to load the bases for Poet. The lanky senior rapped a hard grounder to deep short that was fielded cleanly, but Poet streaked down the line to beat the throw at first by half a step. The score was now knotted at 4-4.
Alex Barnes then drew a walk, sending in the go-ahead run for the Warriors, while the next batter, Avery Laub, was hit by a pitch to give Whittell a 6-4 lead. Thompson relieved for Incline to finally retire the side.
In the home half of the seventh, a tiring Elliott took the mound, pitching his 10th consecutive inning for Whittell over two games. Pinch hitter Austin Sneed walked and Jack Clouthier legged out an infield hit to put the tying runs aboard. But Elliot got the last two outs in order, stranding the tying runs in scoring position and leaving the dangerous Dolan in the on-deck circle when the game ended.
Elliott threw 111 pitches, allowing only four hits, while striking out 15.
Game 2 was an offensive showcase.
Whittell started the fireworks in their first at bat with Elliott launching a two-run homer to left center that cleared the scoreboard and landed on the nearby little league field. The Warriors would have had more had Battel not robbed Gibson of extra bases with a circus catch in center field to start the game.
The Warriors’ 2-0 lead was short-lived, however.
In the home half of the first, the Highlanders batted around with Clouthier singling and Powell, Dolan, Battel and Ben Snyder all hammering doubles. Sneed added another single, and Incline grabbed the lead, 5-2.
Incline added onto its lead with two runs in the second as the Warriors managed a single run in the second, third and fourth innings to pull to within 7-5.
But the Highlanders answered with a three-run fourth. After Sharp robbed Thompson with a diving catch in center field, Powell and Battel smacked hits. Two errors and a Sneed single later, the Highlanders led 10-5.
Whittell scored two in the sixth to narrow the margin to 10-7. Incline delivered a seven-run knockout blow in its half of the inning, however, as Snyder, Kenny Savelieff, Clouthier and Thompson all delivered hits. Dolan crushed a bases-loaded double to send all three runners home, and Graffis delivered the game-ending double.
The Incline baseball team ends the regular season with a home game against North Tahoe on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
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