Tahoe Braves upset Bandits in opening playoff round
The Tahoe Braves saved their best baseball for the most important game to date.
Entering the Reno/Tahoe NABA playoffs as a No. 5 seed, with a 7-12 regular-season record, the Braves upset the fourth-seeded Reno Bandits, 5-1, in the opening round of the postseason Sunday.
and#8220;It caught everybody off guard that we beat them,and#8221; said Bravesand#8217; skipper Jack Bernardo, whose team had lost twice previously to the Bandits, who entered the game at 10-9. and#8220;That kind of win made the season for a lot of people. It was the best game weand#8217;ve played all year.and#8221;
Braves starting pitcher Dallas Voyce kept the Bandits at bay, tossing a complete-game three-hitter against the normally solid-hitting team. Voyce, a graduate of Bishop Manogue High School, struck out five while allowing only two walks. He did not give up a hit after the third inning.
and#8220;Dallas threw a really good game against a team that hits pretty well,and#8221; said Bernardo, noting that it was the first nine-inning complete game from a Braves pitcher this season.
Voyce also helped his cause at the plate, delivering a two-run double that contributed to a four-run first inning.
Recent North Tahoe grad Brian Tidd had a big game as well, Bernardo said, as he picked up a couple of hits and played superb defense at third base. On one particular play in the bottom of the first, he dove to his left with runners on base, gloved the short hop cleanly, then popped to his feet and gunned the runner at first to end the threat.
and#8220;We were up 4-0 at that point, but that would have totally changed the complexion of the game,and#8221; Bernardo said of the play.
Michael Taylor covered a lot of ground in center field to help out Voyce, Bernardo said, and Jacob Bohart played a good defensive game at first base. Offensive stats were not available.
The win sends the Braves to the second round of the playoffs, where theyand#8217;ll face their North Lake Tahoe counterpart, the top-seeded Tahoe Twins, on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The Twins (17-1-1) had earned a first-round bye.
In the other playoff opener, the third-seeded Hustlers edged the sixth-seeded Assassins, 5-4, to advance to the second round. Theyand#8217;ll play the second-seeded Hornets, who also had a bye in the first round, on Sunday, Sept. 1.
The winners of the semifinal matchups meet for the Reno/Tahoe NABA championship the following Sunday, Sept. 11 at 11:30 a.m. The championship game will be played at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista.