Truckee baseball splits with Sparks | SierraSun.com

Truckee baseball splits with Sparks

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTruckee High sophomore Kevin Decker connects with a pitch during the Wolverines' 18-8 win over Sparks in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday. Truckee (8-3, 11-7) lost the second game, 5-2.
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It was all Truckee in Game 1. Not so much in Game 2.

The Truckee High baseball team banged out 18 hits, including a game-ending home run by senior shortstop Andrew Mazzini, en route to a 18-8 win in the first game of a league doubleheader with visiting Sparks on Saturday.

For all the base hits that dropped in the Wolverines’ favor in Game 1, as many shots off the bat found Railroader gloves for routine outs in Game 2, which ended in a 5-2 Truckee loss.

The Wolverines are now 8-3 in league and 11-7 overall.

Nearly everyone on the Truckee squad contributed to the prodigious offensive effort that highlighted the first contest.

None provided more support at the plate than Mazzini, however, whose solo home run over the right-field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning ” which ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule ” completed the cycle. The senior went 4-for-4 with four RBIs on a single, double, triple and home run.

“He was on fire,” Truckee coach Mike Ellis said of his cleanup hitter.

And he wasn’t done after the first game, as the senior went 1-for-3 with another home run, this time a mammoth shot over the scoreboard in left-center field, in Game 2.

“We played all right,” Mazzini said after the first game. “Defensively we made a few errors, but we came back strong with hitting. Everyone did their job hitting.”

Truckee senior Paco Ruiz started on the mound and picked up the win in the first game, allowing eight runs ” seven earned ” and eight hits while walking two and striking out eight in six innings of work.

“Paco was outstanding,” Ellis said. “He was lights out.”

Following a solo home run by Sparks in the top of the first inning and a one-two-three Truckee half, Mazzini crushed a deep triple to dead center to lead off the second. The hit ignited an eight-run inning in which Truckee sent 11 batters to the plate and took an 8-1 lead.

An error in left field in the top of the third led to the Railroaders’ second run before the Wolverines put together a five-run bottom half of the inning, sending another nine batters to the plate and extending their lead to 13-2.

Sparks added four runs in fourth and another two in fifth to narrow the gap to 13-8.

Truckee rallied again in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs on several defensive miscues that led up to a two-run, line-drive single up the middle by sophomore third baseman Michael Taylor, giving the Wolverines a 17-8 lead. With two outs and nobody on base in the sixth, Mazzini’s solo homer saved Ruiz from facing the Railroaders in the seventh.

“It was a good game,” said Ruiz, who conceded that he fed Sparks hitters a steady diet of fastballs for the better part of his 100-pitch outing. “We hit the ball and were looking pretty solid.”

Ruiz helped his cause by scoring two runs on a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Junior Keven Sahlberg was a home run away from the cycle, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs on a single, double and triple.

Taylor was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Kevin Decker 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, Justin Vosburgh 2-for-5 with an RBI, John Depew 1-for-2 with a double and RBI and Clayton McDonnell 1-for-2. Trevor Allen and Maclane Brady each had an RBI.

Said Mazzini: “We’ve been hitting good all year but now all the younger kids are coming around great. I’m proud of them.”

The hits simply weren’t dropping for the Wolverines in the second game.

“We hit the ball,” Ellis said, “but they were just right at [Sparks players].”

The Wolverines had five hits total. Mazzini went 1-for-3 with a home run and RBI, Taylor 1-for-3 with a double and RBI, Allen 1-for-3 and Depew 1-for-2 with two stolen bases. Brendan Driscoll also had a hit.

Sahlberg pitched the first four innings and was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs ” two earned ” on five hits while striking out three and walking three. Vosburgh pitched the final three innings, giving up two runs ” one earned ” on two hits. The sophomore struck out two hitters and walked one.