Two north Tahoe baseball teams face off at Greater Nevada Reno Aces Stadium
Special to the Sierra Sun
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The North Tahoe High School and Incline High School Baseball Teams met Monday night in Reno at the Greater Nevada Reno Aces Stadium in an exhibition game and the Lakers came out on top with a 2-1 victory. After trailing 1-0 the entire game in a pitching dual, North Tahoe sophomore Aiden Fenton hit a two-run inside-the-park-homerun to drive the Lakers ahead for the win.
Although the Lakers have only been able to practice in the high school gym due to snow on the local fields, they showed great composure on the mound and solid defense by holding the Highlanders scoreless for five full innings.
The first Laker batter, sophomore Koby Mattson, got hit by a pitch and took first, but got picked off stealing second. Senior Trent Lingruen got a single and with an overthrow to first, made it to second. Sophomore Joe Lanza flied out to center field. Lingruen stole third but Laker junior Graham Payne grounded out and stranded the runner.
Payne took the mound for North Tahoe first. He walked Jacob Leoncio, who advanced to third on a pick-off attempt from Laker catcher Koby Mattson. A pass ball allowed Leoncio to score, but that would be the only run for the Highlanders as Tristan Summers popped up to the catcher, who then picked the Highlander stealing second to end the inning.
The second through sixth innings were defensive battles and saw no hits for either team, as both pitchers made quick work of the batters. Lingruen took the mound in the bottom of the third for the Lakers, as did senior Tristan Summers for the Highlanders. Both pitchers showed control and stamina as each they struck out numerous batters and had a solid defensive back-up in the field.
In the top of the seventh with a score of 1-0, Laker senior catcher Corwin Benskin got a solid grounder up the middle and with an overthrow to first, advanced to second. With two outs and a full count, Fenton drove a thundering wrap in the gap between right and center for an inside-the-park-homerun to bring home Benskin and take the lead, 2-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Highlanders tried to make a run of it against the new Laker pitcher Lanza. Collins drilled a grounder down the first base line and then advanced to second on a pass ball to be in scoring position. Leoncio came as a pinch runner for Collins and stole third. But a perfectly executed pickle play involving Lanza, Corwin and Payne at third trapped the Incline runner between third and home, a heads-up play by Lanza and Fenton picking off the runner at second, and a strikeout by Lanza squelched the Highlanders hope of a comeback and ended the inning and the game.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.