Tahoe Twins to give away free T-shirts on fan appreciation day
TAHOE VISTA and#8212; For those who have yet to watch the Tahoe Twins in action, Sunday is a good day and#8212; for a number of reasons.
As a thank you for the outpouring of community support, coach Bob Habeger and his assembled band of ballplayers will hand out free Twins T-shirts to the first 50 fans. Those fans also will be treated to a freshly spruced up ballpark, courtesy of Grimes Excavating, as well as the usual free hot dogs, chips and sodas.
Oh, and former Truckee High standout J.R. Murphy will start on the mound when the Twins take on the Fallon Black Sox at 3 p.m.
and#8220;We counted 67 people at the last (home) game, and we’re looking to get at least that or more this weekend,and#8221; said Habeger, adding fans at the last game had to stand because of a lack of seating.
But that’s a problem of the past after the work of Grimes Excavating.
Already a gem nestled in the woods of North Tahoe Regional Park, team member Rob Grimes and#8212; an early and#8216;90s graduate of North Tahoe High School and#8212; beefed up the ballpark’s seating with two new sets of bleachers down the third baseline. Grimes and crew also cleared out infringing brush behind the third-base dugout and leveled the dirt bank, and laid down cobblestone and wood chips on the widened walkway. They spent four days making the improvements.
and#8220;Wait till you see how well it turned out,and#8221; Habeger said.
Ballpark perks aside, the talented group of local players are sure to put on a show for fan appreciation day.
The Twins are 11-0 in the Western Nevada chapter of the National Adult Baseball Association and 14-1 overall, losing only to a team in the Reno Adult League. A win over the Black Sox on Sunday and the Twins clinch the league title and#8212; with still a half-season to go. They’ll compete in the National Adult Baseball Association World Series in Phoenix from Oct. 1 through 4.
and#8220;Everybody is trying to get us,and#8221; Habeger said, especially the defending league champion Black Sox, who picked up several new players since the teams last met in late June, when the Twins won 13-2 behind a dominant start by Murphy. Murphy, a 2004 Truckee grad who played for the Colorado Rockies’ Short-Season Class-A affiliate last year, struck out 10 batters in four innings and allowed just one hit in that outing.
In the Twins’ last win, a 14-0 rout over the Reno Rockies last weekend, Murphy struck out 16 in six innings and gave up one hit. North Tahoe 2008 grad Sean Bernardo picked up where Murphy left off, striking out eight the final three innings while also allowing just one hit.
The Twins can swing that bats, too, as 2004 Truckee grad Nick Smith went 3 for 5 with a home run, triple, two RBIs and two runs in the latest win, and Murphy went 2 for 3 with a double, two RBI and a run. Smith is hitting a cool .450 on the season and Murphy .433.
Jesse Brown, who graduated from North Tahoe in 2004, leads the team with a .563 average and .938 slugging percentage, while his former high school teammate, Steve Derby, is hitting .476.
For those who haven’t seen the Twins in action, make Sunday the day.
OFFENSIVE (through first 14 games)
Jesse Brown .563 ave (.938 slug)
Steve Derby .476
Jesse Hildebrandt .474
Nick Smith .450
J.R. Murphy .433
Jamy Habeger .429
Scott Decker .423
Drew Lipnosky .400
Bobby Habeger .372
Jimmy Williams .350
Joe Thomas .294
Franklin Orlando .263
Andy Habeger .231
Randy Jansen .231
Rob Grimes .200
Junior Rameriz .167
Ryan Gilmore .125
Sean Bernardo .111
PITCHING (through 15 games)
J.R. Murphy 7-0, 0.31 ERA (struck out 57% of batters faced)
Jesse Hildebrandt 5-0, 3.19 ERA
Franklin Orlando 3 saves, 4.35 ERA
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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.