North Tahoe baseball | Spencer, Arnold pitch Lakers past Whittell
TAHOE VISTA, Calif. and#8212; The Lakers leaned on their top hurlers for the final Mount Rose League doubleheader of the regular season Saturday and#8212; and both proved steady as a rock.
Junior Colin Spencer recorded 17 strikeouts en route to a 3-1 win in the first game, while senior Brendon Arnold fanned eight hitters in five innings as North Tahoe rolled to an 11-1 win in Game 2.
and#8220;Colin threw great today,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Matt Drury. and#8220;He pitched smart. He realized they were going after the high fastball and he stayed up there and made them chase it. And heand#8217;s not going to get hit if heand#8217;s up there.
and#8220;Brendon did a great job as well, keeping the ball where he wanted it to go. When heand#8217;s on, weand#8217;re in good shape.and#8221;
North Tahoe won all four games during the week and#8212; including a comeback against Virginia City at Aces Ballpark on Thursday and another win against Whittell on Wednesday and#8212; to end the regular season 17-7 overall and 6-6 in league play.
and#8220;That was our goal for the week to win all four games, and we accomplished that, so hopefully weand#8217;ll have the No. 3 seed going into the playoffs,and#8221; said Spencer.
Not quite. The Lakers received the No. 4 seed in the Northern 2A regional postseason, where they will face a familiar foe in fifth-seeded Incline this Friday and Saturday at North Tahoe Regional Park. The first two games of the best-of-three playoff series are scheduled for Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. If needed, a third and deciding game will be held Saturday at 11 a.m.
and#8220;It will be a couple of teams that are familiar with each other, thatand#8217;s for sure,and#8221; said Drury, whose Lakers split their four games against the rival Highlanders this season, winning the first two and dropping the last two.
Spencer was in complete control against the Warriors (3-15, 1-11), who will enter the postseason as a No. 8 seed against top-seeded Yerington.
The junior right-hander allowed only two hits and one run in the sixth inning as he regularly slipping a high fastball past Whittell hitters. He effectively mixed in a curve to keep the Warriors off balance, often stealing a first strike with the off-speed pitch.
He needed to be sharp to defeat his opponent on the hill, as Whittell starter Matt Elliot gave up just three runs in the third inning while holding the Lakers scoreless the rest of the way. In that third-inning rally, the heart of the North Tahoe lineup broke through with four consecutive hits and#8212; by Wildon DesLauriers, Spencer, Arnold and Baird Bishop and#8212; to push three runs across.
Game 2 remained tight for the first few innings before North Tahoe pulled away.
The Warriors drew first blood with a run in the top of the first, but the Lakers responded with a three-run bottom half of the inning, then added three more in the fourth and five in the fifth to end the game on the 10-run rule. Arnold settled down after the first, scattering two hits and two walks as his defense played a flawless game behind him.
Lefty Cody Gibson started for Whittell and gave up eight runs in four-plus innings, although several of those runs were aided by Warrior miscues in the field. Shortstop Ty Sprock came in with two runners on in the fifth. He recorded an out before walking the next two batters and giving up a two-run base hit off the bat of Arnold to end the game.
and#8220;They played well,and#8221; Drury said of his team. and#8220;We talked a lot about energy, and I thought we carried our energy from Thursdayand#8217;s win at Aces Ballpark into the weekend. The first game was tight, but the second game our bats woke up and we were able to get on them a little bit.and#8221;
North Tahoe had 15 hits in the game, led by Arnoldand#8217;s 3-for-4 performance with a triple and four RBIs, and Mitchell Myersand#8217; 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Conner Lewis, Shane Christian and Bishop each finished with two hits and an RBI, while Connor Altick, Spencer and Alex Tyler each contributed one hit.
In a nonleague game against Virginia City last Thursday, the Lakers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 13-12 come-from-behind win.
Christian started the final inning with a single before Lewis drew a walk and Mychal Paschall bunted for a base hit to load the bases. After a strikeout, DesLauriers walked to drive in a run, Spencer followed with an RBI base hit and Arnold was hit by a pitch, tying the score at 12-12. Bishop then laid down a textbook bunt on a suicide squeeze play that scored DesLauriers with the winning run.
Myers earned the win on the mound, as Drury said both teams used a different pitcher every inning.