Truckee baseball: Home run, strong pitching leads Wolverines to win over Fernley
TRUCKEE ” Michael Taylor crushed a two-run home run and Maclane Brady outdueled Fernley’s ace to lead the Wolverines to a 3-1 league win over the visiting Vaqueros.
“Brady did an excellent job. He threw a gem,” said Truckee head coach Mike Ellis, whose Wolverines improved to 11-2 in the Northern 3A while Fernley fell to 6-4. “He impressed me. That was the best game I’ve seen him throw.”
The junior right-hander tossed a complete game, striking out seven while giving up seven hits and one walk. He showed poise working out of trouble several times, including a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second inning.
His opponent on the mound, Fernley ace Josh Cutts, was equally impressive. The junior left-hander allowed just four hits in six innings as he struck out seven and issued six walks.
But, as Ellis pointed out, “our (hits) were bigger than theirs.”
None was bigger than Taylor’s blast in the bottom of the second.
After senior cleanup hitter Mike Fagan reached base on an infield single, Taylor squared up a chest-high fastball on the first pitch he saw. It was a no-doubt shot, quickly clearing the 8-foot fence in left field and banging off a building beyond the outfield.
“My eyes lit up and I pounded it,” Taylor said.
The senior center fielder had two of Truckee’s four hits, while Fagan accounted for the other two hits.
Taylor also contributed to the win with a strong and accurate arm. With one out and the bases loaded in the top of the second, Taylor caught a fly ball in dead center and fired a two-hop strike to catcher Kevin Decker, who applied the tag to cut down a tagging Dylan Robertson at the plate.
Truckee added another run in the bottom of the third when Jordan Deiro reached first on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a single off the bat of Fagan.
The Vaqueros pushed across their lone run in the fifth when Zack Carrick scored on a wild pitch. Brady then struck out Dylan Evans looking to escape the inning, leaving a runner stranded on third.
“It was a very exciting game, just like we expected, and I think it will be the same on Saturday,” said Fernley head coach Ray Bachman, looking ahead to the weekend doubleheader in Fernley. “I think we match up well. We certainly know each other well.”
The coach tipped his hat to Brady before heading down the first-base line for a postgame chat with his team. “Brady did a heck of a job,” Bachman acknowledged.
Brady said he enjoyed the opportunity to face the Vaqueros’ No. 1 starter.
“It made it more of a challenge. I had to focus even more,” he said about facing Fernley’s ace, who, according to Ellis, has the lowest earned run average in the Northern 3A. Maxpreps.com lists his ERA at 2.14.
“It was a team effort,” Brady added. “The whole team did well.”
Added Taylor: “I think that was the best game we’ve played all year. Our defense was solid. I’m proud of our team. We’re finally coming together, hitting the ball and making plays.”
Truckee pitching ” Maclane Brady 7 IP, 7 K, 7 H, W, R. Truckee hitting ” Mike Fagan 2-3, RBI, run; Michael Taylor 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, run.
Fernley pitching ” Josh Cutts 6 IP, 7 K, 4 H, 6 W, 3 R. Fernley hitting ” Kenney Bradley 1-3; Chris Rothgeb 1-3; Dylan Robertson 1-3; Tucker Taylor 1-3; Jace Gledhill 1-3; Zack Carrick 2-4.