Fallon’s Cooper Lee helped the team at the plate and on the mound in last week’s series-opening win at Elko.
Anthony Mori | Elko Daily Free Press
One run was the difference in each of the three games of the Fallon baseball team’s series at Elko last week.
After the Greenwave won the opener, 10-9, on Thursday, Elko came back to sweep the doubleheader, 5-4 and 10-9, on Saturday and take the series win with two weeks left in the season.
Even with the series loss, Fallon sits two points behind Spring Creek (18-16) for first in the 3A East. Fallon travels to last-place Lowry this weekend before hosting Spring Creek next week for the regular-season finale. That series could decide the league winner, which will receive one of the two byes for the regional tournament. A bye means the team would need to win its first game to advance to state and avoid the consolation bracket.
The regional tournament, which was originally scheduled to be played in Spring Creek, is now May 11-13 at Wooster High in Reno. The state tournament is in Mesquite at Virgin Valley High School.
Fallon built an early 7-0 lead in the first three innings of Thursday’s opener before the Indians came back to within a run, 8-7, after scoring three runs in the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, junior Brady Alves walked and scored on senior Cooper Lee’s 2-0 double to center, and Lee scored on the next pitch when junior Baylor Sandberg’s line drive single gave Fallon a 10-7 lead.
After senior Isaiah Diaz got the first out in the bottom half, Elko came back with back-to-back extra-base hits to trim the lead to two before Lee came into relief. On a 3-1 count, Craig Slater singled into Preston Chamberlin, who tripled in the first run of the inning, bringing the score to within a run. Lee, though, after hitting the next batter, retired the final two with Toren Duke flying out to Caden McKnight in center and inducing a groundout to Alves at short.
Junior Bryce Adams pitched the first 4.2 innings before being replaced by sophomore Mason Storm in the fifth. Adams struck out five but walked four in the no-decision.
Fallon nearly erased a 5-0 hole in Friday’s first game of the doubleheader after the Fallon pitching held the Indians scoreless after the second inning.
Back-to-back doubles in the second inning against sophomore James Kelsey put the Greenwave in the early hole but Kelsey recovered and held the Indians in check the rest of the way.
Sandberg’s one-out double to right scored Alves for Fallon’s first run of the game in the third inning. Sophomore Trevor Hyde’s grounder into center scored Sandberg, trimming the deficit, 5-2.
Both teams wouldn’t score until the sixth when Fallon added another run.
After Hyde walked to start the inning, he was picked off at first before junior Carter Paul walked. Junior Rylan Dixon and Diaz each walked to load the bases when Alves was hit by the pitch, scoring Paul.
Kelsey struck out the last two batters in the sixth inning to give Fallon one last shot at tying the game in the seventh. The southpaw finished the game with 11 strikeouts.
Sandberg singled and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. Hyde’s single advanced Sandberg to third. Senior Isaac Martinez’s line-drive scored Sandberg but Hyde was out at second. After Paul was hit by the pitch, it set up runners on first and second with Storm at the plate. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance, but Storm struck out swinging on a 2-2 count to end the game.
The series finale went back and forth with Fallon grabbing the early 5-2 lead before adding three more in the fifth. Elko, though, scored four in the bottom half to tie the game, 8-8, before taking the lead with two in the sixth after Fallon broke the tie.
Sandberg’s one-out double in the sixth was almost wasted until he scored with two outs to give Fallon a 9-8 lead. The first two Indians, though, reached base before Diaz induced a groundout. A two-run single to right field on the next play broke the tie, giving Elko a one-run lead.
The Greenwave battled in the final frame with Martinez and Diaz each singling with no outs. Martinez was called out for offensive interference for the first out before Paul grounded out to third with Diaz advancing to third on the play. Storm lined out to third on the first pitch to end the game.