Truckee baseball falls short in openers | SierraSun.com

Truckee baseball falls short in openers

Steve Yingling
Sun News Service
Cathleen AllisonTruckee junior Jared McDonnell fires a pitch against South Tahoe on Thursday.
AP | NEVADA APPEAL

The Truckee High baseball team lost 11-4 to South Tahoe in the Carson Tournament on Thursday.

Truckee skipper Mike Ellis wasn’t making any excuses after his club was unable to come up with the necessary plays, even though it has ventured out of the gym to find a playing field various times in the preseason, as opposed to the 4A Vikings.

“South Tahoe played really good. We’ve been on the field at least 15 practices,” said Ellis, whose club has found field time at Moana Stadium, Governor’s Bowl and in San Jose. “They’ve already seen some fast pitching and had some at-bats. South Tahoe just had a scrimmage, and I let them on Moana a couple of week ago to practice. You have to tip your hat to the way they played.”

South Tahoe coach Matt Tillson was pleased with his team’s effort after limited practice time on a field.

“Overall, we’re pretty happy coming out the gym,” he said. “The top of the lineup really hit the ball well. It was a very productive day.”

Truckee senior Justin Vosburgh led off the game with a double on a fly ball that was lost in the sun. However, the Vikings erased him on the first of two double plays that started with a lineout to Derek Holmgren at second.

After stranding a pair of baserunners in the first inning, South Tahoe began to rattle its bats in the second. Tanner Braun pounded a 2-0 pitch from starter Scott Mathot into the left-center gap, scoring Jamie Yelles. Kyle DiGrande followed with a two-run double into the right-center alley for a 3-0 South Tahoe lead. Holmgren added the Vikings’ third double of the inning with a laser down the left-field line, scoring DiGrande to make the score 4-0.

Truckee’s Mike Taylor and Mike Fagen advanced as far as third base in the second and third innings, but DeLallo beared down each time for key strikeouts.

“I was finding my focal points,” DeLallo said. “When I got down (in the count), I tried to erase it from thoughts and tried to look at the top of the mountain, so it changes my mindset.”

The Vikings built a 9-0 lead by scoring five times in the fourth inning. Matt Marsh and Yelles belted run-scoring singles, Chris Ewing hit a sacrifice fly and two more Vikings scored unearned runs.

The Wolverines broke up the shutout in the fifth, scoring twice without hitting the ball out of the infield. Brian Matthews and Jared McDonnel crossed the plate, with Jordan Deiro and Kevin Decker each providing an RBI.

“I know it’s early, but we have to learn to hit the ball a little better,” Ellis said. “We have a good bunch of kids. They just need to go after it more and trust it.”

In the sixth, DiGrande’s two-run double to right pushed the Vikings’ lead to 11-2.

Truckee, however, didn’t go down quietly in the final inning. Two walks and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases with one out. Taylor was hit by a pitch to score one run and a second run came home on Ryan Zusy’s infield single. Braun got the final out on a bases-loaded lineout to Marsh.

Vosburgh reached base three times and scored a run to lead the Wolverines.

The Wolverines fell 8-5 to North Valleys, also a 4A team, in their second game of the day Thursday.

Zusy started on the mound for Truckee and Matthews came in for relief.

Ellis said he’s saving Vosburgh, his No. 1 pitcher, for Saturday’s matchup with Carson.