Tahoe Twins win eighth straight
TAHOE VISTA, Calif. and#8212; The Tahoe Twins ran their win streak to eight games with a pair of quality victories against the Reno Assassins this past week.
Fueled by strong pitching performances, the Twins shut out the Assassins 6-0 at their North Tahoe Regional Park home on Sunday, four days after earning a 9-3 win on the road.
The Twins improved to 10-1-1 on the season and trail only the undefeated Hornets (13-0) in the Reno/Tahoe NABA league standings. They have a chance to gain some ground on the Hornets this Sunday, however, as they host a doubleheader in Tahoe Vista against the unbeaten Reno club.
Jesse Hildebrandt tossed a complete-game shutout in the Twins’ most recent win to bump his record to 3-0 on the year. He allowed seven hits in nine innings while recording eight strikeouts.
and#8220;Jesse threw a real good game,and#8221; said Twins Manager Bob Habeger.
His offense provided more than enough support, breaking through with three runs in the third inning, two more in the fourth and one in the eighth as Hildebrandt coasted to the finish.
Leadoff hitter and shortstop Bobby Habeger led the offensive production, thanks in part to the bottom of the order reaching base in front of him. Habeger delivered four RBIs on a single and a double, raising his batting average to .352.
Ryan Gilmore also had two hits in the game, while Drew Lipnosky, Jesse Brown, Steve Derby, Jamy Habeger, Joe Thomas and Scott Decker each collected one hit. Brown and Randy Jansen contributed an RBI apiece in the win.
Brown, who has hit safely in all 12 games this season, leads the team with an even .500 batting average. He has four home runs and seven doubles, and a slugging percentage of .920. Thomas is hitting .381, Derby .366, with two homers, and Jamy Habeger .342.
In Wednesday’s game played in Reno, Thomas started and picked up the win, allowing three runs (one earned) in 7 2/3 innings. Thomas struck out five and gave up eight hits before finding himself in a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the eighth inning and#8212; on a ball that took a bad hop on a Twins infielder, followed by a walk and a base hit, his skipper said.
Lipnosky, a crafty left-handed pitcher and center fielder, entered the game and drew a ground out on one pitch to end the threat. Lipnosky went on to retire the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win.
The Twins had 14 hits in the game, led by Cory Munoz’s 3-for-4 performance with three RBIs, and Brown’s 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Derby also had three hits, including a double and a triple, and one RBI. Bobby Habeger, Lipnosky, Jamy Habeger, Gilmore and Decker each had a hit.
The Tahoe Braves fell victim to the undefeated Reno Hornets by a score of 5-2 at North Tahoe Regional Park on Sunday.
and#8220;We pitched fine and we fielded fine, but we just didn’t hit,and#8221; said Braves Manager Jack Bernardo, whose team is in fifth place, at 5-7, in the Reno/Tahoe NABA. and#8220;Even though it (the final score) was only 5-2, it felt insurmountable.and#8221;
Bernardo said the Hornets boast a talented pitching staff at least five pitchers deep, with each one featuring overpowering stuff. He said Braves hitters have struggled against hard-throwing pitchers this season.
Sean Bernardo started on the mound for the Braves and threw seven innings, allowing three runs. Jonathan McDowell pitched the eighth inning and Sean Brija the ninth.
The Braves host a doubleheader next against the Reno Bandits, who are one place ahead of them in the standings, at 6-6, at their Tahoe Vista home this Sunday.
and#8220;It will be interesting to see how we do against them,and#8221; Bernardo said of the Bandits, whom the Twins defeated twice by one run earlier this month. and#8220;They’re a good team. Hopefully we hit a little better.and#8221;
About one month remains before playoffs. The top six of eight teams advance.
The and#8220;evenand#8221; All-Stars team and#8212; made up of players from the second-place Twins, fourth-place Bandits, sixth-place Assassins and eighth-place Pirates and#8212; defeated the and#8220;oddand#8221; All-Stars, 11-3, in the Reno/Tahoe NABA All-Star game on July 16.
The Twins were represented by the first four hitters in their order, Habeger, Lipnosky, Brown and Derby, as well as Jamy Habeger and Thomas, while the Braves were represented on the odd All-Stars team by Michael Taylor, Ryan Ransdell and T.J. Dwyer.
Bernardo said Taylor, who played center field, smashed the ball three times in the game, one of which dropped for a hit while the other two drives were caught in the outfield. Twins players also made an impact on the even squad, as they filled the first four spots in the batting order and rallied for two runs in the first inning.
David Pierce of the Pirates, who pitched three scoreless innings and hit two doubles, was named MVP of the game.
Brown was in the running for the home run derby title. He hit two bombs in the first round as three other participants hit one apiece. In the second round, he and Iain Dykins of the Hornets each hit one homer. That forced a sudden-death final, in which Dykins hit one first to win the home run derby.