South Tahoe shocks Carson baseball
By Steve Yingling
Nevada Appeal News Service
South Tahoe High School baseball is doing something that Carson Valley teams have never seen.
The Vikings pulled off the first back-to-back wins against Douglas and Carson in school history on Thursday with an 8-5 Sierra League victory over the Senators at Todd Fields. South Tahoe defeated Douglas 13-6 on Saturday, and the win over Carson was the Vikings' second ever.
"If you are gonna play Tahoe now, you better get ready to play seven innings of tough baseball," said Carson coach Steve Cook, who has been with the program 12 years as a player, assistant coach and coach. "They are the best Tahoe team I've played."
The loss was a tough blow to Carson's postseason push. The Senators (10-6 in league and 19-12 overall) started the day alone in third place, but Damonte Ranch (9-6) and Wooster (8-7) are right behind them. Only the top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
South Tahoe improved to 10-19 and 5-11.
Jason Winslow had a big hand in the victory, throwing four shutout innings and battling his way out of jams in the fifth and sixth frames.
"It's as proud as I've been as a captain and a player in this program," said Winslow, a senior. "Not many Viking players can say they've beaten Carson. I like the way our team is playing right now. We're playing as a confident team. Too bad we weren't playing like this at the beginning of the year. We'd be a dangerous team right now."
STHS skipper Matt Tillson was all set to remove Winslow in the sixth inning after a walk to Rob Valerius followed a leadoff double by Paul Cagle. But Vikings catcher Gary Prescott convinced Tillson to keep Winslow in the game. Winslow made the move pay off as he got out of the inning with a 7-3 lead following three straight groundouts.
"I wouldn't have listened to Jason because he's a pitcher, but my catcher said to let him go," Tillson said. "Jason is a fighter. You want a guy like that who competes on the mound."
Tillson didn't hesitate to remove Winslow after Carson put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh. Sophomore Max DeLallo, who beat Douglas on Saturday, was placed in the closer role for the first time. But Tillson didn't let him finish after DeLallo struggled with his control, allowing an RBI single to Kyle Stone and a walk to Cagle.
Matt Marsh, however, got the final two outs. A comebacker to the mound plated Markus Adams to make the score 8-5, then Marsh got Cody Barr to pop up to first baseman Ivan Trebotich to end the game.
"We always knew that we could do it. This was the year," Prescott said. "The whole team played together."
Prescott led the Vikings' 12-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Prescott singled in two runs in the first inning. Kyle DiGrande delivered a run-scoring single with two out in the first inning to make the score 3-0.
In the second inning, Otto Trebotich's triple to the fence in left-center field scored Chris Heng, who had singled. Marsh's sacrifice fly plated Trebotich with the Vikings' fifth run.
Derek Holmgren led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored on DiGrande's base hit to give STHS a 6-0 lead. Prescott doubled in Marsh in the fourth inning, putting the Vikings ahead 7-0.
The Senators trimmed the Vikings' lead to 7-2 on Adams' two-run single in the fifth. South Tahoe had a chance to retrieve those runs in the bottom of the inning, but Holmgren was caught in a rundown between home plate and third base on a botched suicide squeeze bunt attempt by Winslow. The Vikings' next two hitters reached base before Heng lined out to second to end the inning.
"Jason has been a very good bunter for us, so my rationale there was to get that extra run across the board," Tillson said. "I'm going to put pressure on them. You know what, percentages say we'll get to get the next one down."
Winslow finished with a six-hitter, three strikeouts and three walks.
"Give it to their kid on the hill today. He did a good job," Cook said. "He kept us off balance. He didn't throw anything by us, but we didn't know what pitch he was gonna throw. He threw all of his pitches for strikes, and he hit all of the locations he wanted."
Adams and Cagle each had two hits for the Senators, while DiGrande, Marsh and Holmgren collected two for the Vikings.
The two teams meet for a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at Todd Fields.
"It's a little wake-up call for us," Cook said. "If we want to be part of the party in zone, then we have to come out and play. We've got 14 innings on Saturday, and they are going to be very big games."