ELKO — Another group of cardiac kids from the Oasis of Nevada is heading to the state 3A baseball championships this week in Mesquite, but it took another gut-wrenching rally and chewed fingernails to keep the dreams of a title within the Greenwave’s grasp.
Down 6-0 to host Elko in Saturday’s first game in the double-elimination round, both the Indians and Wave needed a win to move into the championship to face Truckee.
The Greenwave rallied with a 10-run explosion in the fifth inning to down Elko and then rode the home-run bat of catcher Edgar Alvarado to defeat Truckee in their first game. The Wolverines, though, came through in the title game for a 14-3 win in NIAA 2019 Northern League Baseball Championship.
By defeating Elko, Fallon punched its ticket to the state championships that begin Thursday. The Wave play Boulder City at 7:30 p.m.
Fallon, which defeated Truckee once during the regular season and lost to the Wolverines 3-2 on Friday, relied on solid pitching and timely hitting to force a second game with the defending state champs.
Fallon’s tired pitching corps went with Alvarado in Saturday’s first game. Alvarado walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a single to Marcus Bellon. Derek Laferriere singled to center field to score Truckee’s first run, and one out later, Shane Poe lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to give Truckee a 2-0 lead.
Fallon responded in the top of the second.
Chase Irvin led off with a walk, but was picked off at first. Shortstop Nate Galusha reached base on an error as did Reile Cole, putting runners on the corners. Brock Richardson tied the game on a two-run triple.
In the see-saw game, Truckee regained a 3-2 lead on Laferriere’s sacrifice fly in the home half of the third inning.
Fallon tied the game for the second time. Alvarado ripped a two-run home run off starting pitcher Jack Streit for his second hit in the game. In the top of the seventh, Deacon Mehler relieved Streit with one out, but he loaded the bases. Mehler plunked Galusha with a pitch to drive in the eventual winning run.
Galusha, who pitched the final two innings for Fallon, retired the side in the bottom of the inning and picked up the win.
Truckee wasted no time scoring against Fallon in the championship game.
The Wolverines put up a seven-spot in the top of the first inning and added three runs in the third and four in the fourth. The game lasted five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Avery Strasdin took the mound for Fallon and struggled by loading the bases.
Poe drove in the first run on a single followed by Sawyer Thompson’s RBI base hit and then an error for a 3-0 lead. Galusha entered the game to pitch for Fallon with the bases still loaded. He surrendered two walks and hit Tyler Estabrook. Bellon’s grounder scored Truckee’s final run in the inning.
Shaw Lee sliced the lead in Fallon’s half of the inning. He drove in two runs with a single, and Brenden Larsen hit a single to send home another run.
Spencer Edmonson and Thompson combined for three RBIs in third inning as Truckee led 10-3. The Wolverines had RBI singles from Bellon and Laferriere, and a double from Edmonson.
Timmy Reeve earned the win for Truckee, scattering three hits while striking out six and walking six. Bellon and Thompson each drove in two runs, and Edmonson had the hot bat with three RBIs. Avery Strasdin took the loss for the Wave.
Fallon fell behind Elko, which jumped on Fallon for three first-inning runs and then added a run in each of the second, third and fifth innings.
Elko scored three runs off Irvin in a single, a hit batter and double play. Kohl McIntosh singled in a run in the second, while Colby Tiner doubled home a run the following inning. In the fifth with two outs, Cooper Jones singled home a run off Bryce Larson, who came into the fifth inning.
Fallon chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs Tommy McCormick doubled home the Greenwave’s first two runs, and Alvarado’s double cut the lead in half, 6-3. Lee’s single made the score 6-4. Lincoln Ratliff, who was the losing pitcher, relieved starter Colby Tiner.
Brenden Larson reached first on an error, Strasdin walked an Galusha was safe on an error, which allowed two runs to score to tie the game.
Hayden Strasdin, who pitched the final three innings, put Fallon on top with a single to left field, and Sean McCormick smacked a single to centerfield to drive in a pair of runs for a 9-6 lead. Galusha scored on a passed ball.
Strasdin ran into a jam with two outs in the sixth by giving up singles to Kaleb Martinez and Ratliff. Strasdin ended the inning on a ground out and then retired Elko in order in the seventh.
Each team banged out 11 hits with McIntosh and Tommy McCormick each having three.
On Friday, Lee’s first-inning, two-run homer gave Fallon the game’s first lead, but Truckee tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Edmonson’s single and Poe’s ground out.
The Wolverines scored the go-ahead run in the third on Poe’s sacrifice fly.
Fallon put its first two runners on base in each of the final three innings. In the fifth, Fallon had consecutive singles from Tommy McCormick and Alvarado, but Truckee escaped the jam on a strike out and double play. With two outs in the sixth, Fallon had two runners on before a grounder ended the inning.
In the seventh inning with one out, Alvarado walked, and Lee singled before Brenden Larsen hit into a game-ending double play.
Edmonson outpitched Lee to pick up the win.
Alvarado set the tone in a first-round game on Thursday.
Pitcher Hayden Strasdin performed a masterpiece in the second the game against Spring Creek.
Pitchers Brenden Larsen of Fallon and Aman Bassi of North Valleys were embroiled in a pitcher’s duel in the first game, which Fallon won 4-2.
After Fallon took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, North Valleys scored a pair of runs in the top of the third on two Greenwave infield errors. Alvarado’s sacrifice fly gave Fallon its first run, but the Greenwave catcher wasn’t done.
Right fielder Bryce Larsen walked on four straight pitches to open the home half of the fifth. Richardson then came in to run for Larsen. After Sean McCormick grounded out, brother Tommy followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
Alvarado came to the plate and dug himself into the batter’s box. Bassi’s first pitch sailed over the plate, and Alvarado ripped it for a two-run homer that gave a Fallon a lead it didn’t surrender.
In the second game against No. 2 seeded Spring Creek, Strasdin scattered seven hits for a 10-1 win.
Fallon banged out 12 hits and took advantage of four Spartans’ errors to move to the next round. The Wave had four players each finishing the game with two hits: Sean McCormick, Bryce Larsen, Galusha and Irvin.
Sean McCormick’s two-run double in the third broke open the scoreless game, and Irvin knocked in a run and Galusha two more in the fourth inning to give the Wave a 5-0 lead.
Fallon scored three runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh. Irvin tripled in a run and later scored on a passed ball. Galusha scored on an error. Tommy McCormick score on an error in the seventh followed by an RBI double from first baseman Lee.