Wave, Vaqueros ready for battle

Steve Puterski / LVN Photo

Steve Puterski / LVN Photo

The Lahontan League title is up for grabs.

While the Fallon baseball team aims for its third consecutive league crown, the Greenwave sit in position to climb the ladder in the Northern Division I-A standings.

Fallon (11-8 overall) takes on cross-valley rival Fernley (13-5) at 4 p.m. today at the Ed Arciniega Complex and resumes action with a doubleheader on Saturday in Fernley. The Wave hosted Yerington on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time.

The Vaqueros, however, currently sit in third place in the Northern DI-A standings with a 4-2 record, two and a half games ahead of Fallon (5-4). Two wins by the Greenwave would carry Fallon over the Vaqueros in the chase for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Truckee, meanwhile, is lurking in fifth place at 3-3 and South Tahoe sits in sixth (4-5). A sweep by Fallon and a pair of losses by Truckee would clinch the No. 3 for the Wave.

The top four seeds host a three-game playoff series on May 3-4.

But Fernley still stands in the way. Fallon coach Lester de Braga said he hasn’t scouted the Vaqueros, but said his club must focus on itself.

“I really don’t know anything about Fernley,” de Braga said. “Right now I feel like this team has come together. I think we are right where we wanted to be. We have to beat ourselves at this point in time for anybody to beat us.”

Fallon has been hot of late, winning seven straight games and nine of its past 10 through Saturday. De Braga adjusted his defensive alignment and said the move enhanced the club’s chemistry.

Sage Orozco was inserted at shortstop, Dalton Frank moved to centerfield and Dylan Tedford slid over to right. Dalton Johnson, meanwhile, took the reins at third base and Tyler Bagby moved behind the plate.

“That move has turned the season around for us,” de Braga said. “It took a few games for the kids to get used to their new positions. Defensively, though, we’ve been solid.”

In addition to the defensive moves, de Braga said his 1-2-3 pitching punch of lefty starters Hunter Mori, Nic Stenberg and righty Tristen Salazar have come into form.

While the starters have been solid, so has the bullpen, de Braga said.

“The key to our success lately has been our pitching,” the third-year coach added.

Offensively, the unit has adapted to de Braga’s small-ball philosophy and pushed across an eye-popping 112 runs during the seven game streak. De Braga said confidence has filled the lineup from top to bottom.

“Execution of the game has been excellent,” he said. “The kids have really responded well. One through nine in the order has been solid.”

Last week, the Greenwave rolled through Dayton as Fallon picked up a pair of wins on Saturday. Fallon swept the doubleheader with a 17-5 victory in the first game and capped the day with an 8-4 win.

Fallon ends its regular season campaign at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Yerington at the Ed Arciniega Complex.


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