Wolverines split with Dayton, host Fernley on Friday.
From day one, Truckee Wolverines’ Head Baseball Coach Jason Estabrook has said the team’s success will be determined by its pitching.
So last week, when Estabrook and the Wolverines fell short of a sweeping a crucial doubleheader against league opponent Dayton, one needed to look no further than the mound.
Truckee won the first game 6-4, thanks in large part to T.J. Dwyer’s 16 strikeout, complete game performance.
But with two starters out of the rotation, the Wolverines ran out of gas on the hill in the second game, losing big, 15-5.
The Wolverines were missing sophomore starter J.R. Murphy, who was finishing a suspension for violation of team rules, and Junior Greg Gadsby, who was ruled ineligible by NIAA officials for the rest of the year because of a midseason transfer from Douglas High School.
Estabrook said the pounding the Wolverines took in the second game was a bitter and abrupt end to a four-game winning streak.
“The kids were really disappointed to lose that way,” he said.
However it is the loss of Gadsby for the rest of the season that may hurt the Wolverines the most.
“We will miss him greatly, but we are looking forward to getting him back next year,” Estabrook said.
Gadsby can practice, but can not suit up or play in games.
Still, the Wolverines have several reasons to be optimistic, including Dwyer’s pitching as of late, more pitching help on the way with Murphy returning this week and a 5-2 record since they played Spring Creek two weeks ago.
In fact, since they started the season 0-4 against NIAA 4A schools, the Wolverines have battled back to a 5-8 record and are 2-3 in league play.
In the first game on Saturday, Dwyer gave up only two hits, one walk and one earned run.
“He really put his best game forward,” Estabrook said.
Dwyer also helped himself with a home run, while the rest of the Wolverine bats produced runs in each of the first four innings, including home runs by David Larson and Jacob Bohart.
Bohart finished by going 3 for 4 with an RBI.
But Estabrook would miss Murphy and Gadsby in the second game, and was forced to pull players like starting shortstop Larson from the infield to pitch. Even starting catcher Eric Detwiler took to the mound.
“We tried to piece together a pitching rotation, but it just didn’t work,” Estabrook said.
The Wolverines got two runs home in the top of the first, but wouldn’t lead again after that.
The Dust Devils answered with two in the first and five more in the second to break the game open.
Brad Sausser led the Wolverines in the nightcap by going 2 for 3, while Bohart added another home run.
Last Thursday, Truckee beat Quincy 9-8 in a non-league game.
Bohart got the win and Dwyer the save.
The Wolverines squared off against Capital Christian in a non-league game on Tuesday, but results were unavailable on Wednesday.
The Wolverines host Fernley tomorrow at Truckee High School in their first home game of the year.