Each series becomes more critical.
Today, the biggest one of the season for the Fallon baseball team is a three-game set against rival Elko. The Greenwave and Indians square off at 3 p.m. today and at 11 a.m. Saturday in a doubleheader.
“Elko is always tough,” Fallon coach Lester de Braga said. “They have a great program. No matter their record … it’s just one of those programs you can’t take lightly.”
Both are in position to further distance themselves from the logjam in the middle of the Northern Division I-A.
Fallon (6-2 league, 8-3-1 overall) currently sits in second place, while Elko (7-4, 10-5) rests in third. Both clubs aim for a series win, preferably a sweep, to put space between Fernley (5-3, 8-4), Lowry (5-4, 5-9) and Spring Creek (6-5, 9-7).
The Wave are rolling, ripping off six consecutive wins including Tuesday’s 13-3 drubbing over Fernley. Elko, meanwhile, has won six of its last eight games, but is coming off a 1-0 loss at Spring Creek on Tuesday.
“We are going to stress to the kids that it’s another game, and hopefully things will take care of themselves,” de Braga added.
Fallon offense led by catcher Tyler Bagby, who is hitting .529 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and seven stolen bases, all of which leads the club.
Following suit are Cody Long (.483, 13 RBIs), Branden Beeghly (.455, 10 RBIs), Dalton Frank (.348, three doubles) and Tristen Salazar (.344, two doubles).
On the mound, Fallon trots out three solid starters in Salazar, the ace; Long, the No. 2; and Riley Williams plus relievers Alex Mendez, Joe Pyle, Chase McElvain and Cade Monardo.
Salazar has sizzled all season and has compiled a 2-1 record with a team-best 2.52 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 25 innings. Long, a lefty, is 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA, while Williams is 1-0 in three appearances with a 3.75 ERA and nine strikeouts.
Mendez, though, has been a gem for de Braga’s club as the freshmen has shown an ability to pitch out of a jam. In five appearances he’s 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA and 17 strikeouts to only six walks.
“We have to stress the importance of every game,” de Braga said.
Elko’s offense is led by Jacob Conklin (.524, two doubles), Chad Schumacher (.441, 11 runs), Derek Ridgway (.359, 16 runs) and Connor Altenburg (.351, 12 RBIs).
On the mound, Conklin is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA, while Ridgway sports a 2-0 record and a 2.10 ERA.
Wave rolls past Fernley
The bats continue to stay hot.
The Fallon baseball team rolled past rival Fernley, 13-3, Tuesday in a Northern Division I-A matchup.
Cody Long and Austin Bischoff led the charge as each tallied three RBIs and a pair of hits. Tyler Bagby added two hits and scored three runs, while Marshall Coverston also had two hits.
“We look at our order, and every kid seems to produce,” de Braga said. “That’s the mark of a good team.”
Pitcher Joe Pyle picked up the win as he went 3 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run with five strikeouts. Carlos McIntyre took the loss for the Vaqueros as went pitched five innings allowing eight runs — all earned — struck out one and walked four.
“Joe Pyle on the mound, he threw great,” de Braga said. “Alex Mendez came in and was great.”
Fallon took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Branden Beeghly to score Bischoff. Long pushed the lead to 3-0 with a two-run double and Bischoff made it 4-0 with a RBI double.
Cade Monardo singled home a run in the fifth inning, followed by Long’s third RBI as Fallon opened up a 8-1 lead.
Trailing 10-1, Fernley scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Wave answered with three runs in the seventh inning.
Kevin Montgomery and McIntyre each had two hits for the Vaqueros, while Montgomery also had an RBI. Erik Wilson and Ryan Wilson also drove in runs for Fernley.
“We did leave a lot of runners on base, but we produced when we need to,” de Braga said.
The season series is tied 1-1 with the rubber matched slated for April 22 at 3 p.m. in Fernley. The Vaqueros visit last-place Sparks (1-8, 4-8) for a three-game set Friday and Saturday.