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Truckee baseball: Wolverines win Game 1 of postseason series

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Keith Sheffield/Sierra SunTruckee junior Brian Matthew scores during the Wolverines' 9-3 playoff win over Fernley on Friday. Matthew went 2 for 2 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.
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TRUCKEE ” Truckee ace Justin Vosburgh scattered six hits over seven strong innings to lead the Wolverines to a 9-3 win over Fernley in their best-of-three playoff opener Friday.

Game 2 is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Truckee High field. If necessary, a third and deciding game will start at 1 p.m.

The winner, along with the winner of the Spring Creek-Sparks series, advances to the 3A state championship tournament in Las Vegas on May 21-23. According to Maxpreps.com, top-seeded Spring Creek (16-3 league) routed Sparks 13-1 Friday.

In an anticipated matchup of No. 1 starters, both Vosburgh and Fernley ace Josh Cutts struggled early ” each having to escape bases-loaded jams in the first inning.

“He had a rocky start,” Truckee head coach Mike Ellis said of Vosburgh. “He left a few things up, and some balls got hit. But after he loaded the bases he overcame. He stuck it out and went the whole seven (innings).”

As Vosburgh settled in, gaining confidence with each of his eight strikeouts, Cutts’ troubles were just beginning.

Truckee hitters worked Cutts for nine runs on eight hits and eight walks in just four innings. And they inflicted the most damage at the tail-end of their lineup, as Scott Mathot and Brian Matthew, batting eighth and ninth, combined to go 4 for 5 with four RBIs and four runs scored.

After posting their first run in the second, the second-seeded Wolverines (16-3 league) rallied to score four in the third and four more in the fourth to chase Cutts from the game.

“They came out pretty sharp. Up and down their lineup they hit the ball,” said Fernley head coach Ray Bachman, whose third-seeded Vaqueros fell to 9-10 in league play. “They put it in play where we weren’t.

“And Cutts didn’t have his best stuff today. I think the effect of a long season is starting to take its toll. He’s thrown a lot of innings.”

The junior left-hander leads the Northern 3A in innings pitched, with 64, according to Maxpreps.com.

Although the Wolverines beat Fernley’s top starter once during the regular season, they entered Friday’s playoff opener with only five hits in 11 innings against him.

Truckee head coach Mike Ellis said he was frustrated the Wolverines let Cutts off the hook in both the first and second innings Friday, leaving the bases loaded in the first and stranding runners on second and third to end the second.

“But the guys bounced back,” Ellis said. “The second and third time through (the lineup) they finally got it right.”

It started in the third, when Cutts walked three straight before Mathot delivered an RBI hit and Matthew followed with a sacrifice fly. After another walk loaded the bases, Cutts walked in a run to push Truckee’s lead to 4-1.

The only inning Cutts did not issue a walk, the fourth, Truckee tagged him for four runs on a hit batter, an infield hit, an RBI squeeze bunt, and three more RBI base hits.

Chris Rothgeb started the fifth for the Vaqueros, allowing one hit in two innings to close the game.

“We’re stoked to get the first one against their ace,” said Truckee catcher Kevin Decker, who went 2 for 2 with three RBIs. “We just have to come out tomorrow and get the first game.”

Third-baseman Travis Dwyer credited Vosburgh’s pitching effort and tight defense for the win, as well as his team’s hitting performance.

“Justin pitched his heart out and we played great defense ” and we finally hit Cutts. We just need to play hard again tomorrow and get to Vegas,” said Dwyer, who contributed an RBI and a run.

Vosburgh, who helped his cause with an RBI on a 1-for-4 day, broke down his outing after the game.

“I was a little shaky at first, leaving pitches down the middle … but coach settled me down and I started to hit my spots, and that’s when I was effective,” he said.

For the Vaqueros, leadoff hitter Chris Luna led the way offensively, going 2 for 4 with a double, triple and run scored. Jace Gledhill, Fernley’s No. 2 hitter, also had a big day, going 2 for 4 with a triple and RBI.

Truckee stats

Hitting ” Kevin Decker: 2-2, 3 RBI; Justin Vosburgh 1-4, RBI; Mike Fagan 1-3; Maclane Brady 0-1, 2 R; Michael Taylor 1-2, 2 R; Travis Dwyer 0-1, RBI, R; Scott Mathot 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R; Brian Matthew 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R.

Pitching ” Justin Vosburgh (WP): 7 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 8 K, 6 H, W, 2 HB

Fernley stats

Hitting ” Dylan Robertson: 2-4, 2B, 3B, R; Jace Gledhill 2-4, 3B, RBI; Josh Cutts 0-2, RBI; Jeff Devere 1-3; Dylan Evans 1-3.

Pitching ” Josh Cutts (LP): 4 IP, 9 R, 6K, 8 H, 8 W, HB; Chris Rothgeb: 2 IP, H, HB.

Round 1, best-of-three

Friday, May 15 at host sites (3:30 p.m.)

Series A ” SPARKS (No. 4 seed) at SPRING CREEK (No. 1 seed)

Series B ” FERNLEY (No. 3 seed) @ TRUCKEE (No. 2 seed)

Saturday, May 16 @ host sites (10 a.m. and 1 p.m., if necessary)

Series A ” SPARKS (No. 4 seed) at SPRING CREEK (No. 1 seed)

Series B ” FERNLEY (No. 3 seed) @ TRUCKEE (No. 2 seed)

– The two winners advance to the 3A state championship in Las Vegas on May 21-23.


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