Tahoe Twins | Local baseball team gets back on winning track
That was the brand of baseball Twins manager Bob Habeger expected from his team all along.
The Tahoe Twins, amid a season of ups and downs against top-notch semi-pro talent, swept both ends of a doubleheader from the previously undefeated Sacramento Redbirds on Saturday.
and#8220;The guys really had a great weekend,and#8221; said Habeger, whose Twins won their third straight after taking down the San Francisco Seagulls, 6-4, the previous week. and#8220;They played two solid games. It was good to see.and#8221;
Behind strong complete-game pitching performances from Joe Thomas and Jesse Hildebrandt, the Twins defeated the Redbirds 5-1 in the first game and 2-1 in the second to adjust the Redbirds’ season record to 17-2.
and#8220;I was very impressed with the Twins. They were definitely the best team we have played all year,and#8221; said Redbirds manager Brian Nix. and#8220;I was probably most impressed with their defense. They played both games almost flawlessly.and#8221;
The Twins, a semi-pro team made up of mostly North Tahoe and Truckee ballplayers, are now 12-12 on the season, with many of those losses coming against the highly competitive Reno Astros. Both the Twins and Redbirds are members of the wood-bat National Adult Baseball Association.
Thomas tossed a gem in Game 1, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out seven in nine innings to earn the win. It was an efficient effort, as the right-hander threw only 25 pitches through the first three innings and kept his pitch count in check throughout with pinpoint control.
and#8220;Joe is so accurate, he can hit his spots. He’s pretty consistent,and#8221; Habeger said. and#8220;Jesse (Hildebrandt) is accurate, too. Both of them hit their spots real well.and#8221;
Scott Decker put the Twins on the board in the fourth inning of Game 1 when he reached base on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI off the bat of Cory Munoz. The Twins added to their lead when Bobby Habeger hit a double, Thomas followed with a single and Decker cleared the bases with a two-run triple.
Munoz and Ryan Gilmore picked up an RBI apiece after that to round out the Twins’ offense. The five-run total in the game was an impressive offensive output considering the Twins’ opponent, according to Habeger, who said the Redbirds’ starting pitcher entered the game with an ERA under 1.00.
Hildebrandt picked up the win in Game 2, allowing only four hits and one run in the seven-inning contest. He finished with five strikeouts.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Drew Lipnosky hit a double and was driven in by another double from Jamy Habeger. The Redbirds broke through with a run in the fifth to tie the score. The following inning, however, the Twins regained the lead for good when Bobby Habeger smacked a double, Lipnosky moved him to third on a sacrifice fly and Jamy Habeger drove him in with a sac fly to right field.
Hildebrandt retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win, which was aided by four double plays in the game.
and#8220;For them to shut our offense down like they did was very impressive,and#8221; Nix said. and#8220;Even though we were missing a couple of guys from our starting lineup, I’m not sure it would have made a difference.and#8221;