Pitching paved the way and explosive offense finished the job as the Greenwave baseball team advanced to the 3A state tournament in Mesquite.
Despite being swept – and outscored by 24 runs – by South Tahoe in the championship games, Fallon held North Valleys and South Tahoe in one run apiece on Thursday to set up a showdown with Truckee with a trip to the regional title game and state championship on the line. The Greenwave took down the Wolverines, 14-4, on Friday to qualify for state for the first time since 2019, when it was last held at Virgin Valley High School.
Fallon, the region's No. 2 seed, will take on No. 1 Pahrump Valley today at 1 p.m. while South Tahoe faces No. 2 Virgin Valley at 3:30 p.m. The next set of games (two consolation and one championship semifinal) will be contested on Friday. The championship and “if” game are Saturday at 10 a.m.
Trailing 4-1 going into the second inning, Fallon began its comeback against Truckee on Friday.
Brady Alves’ two-out single to score Anthony Juarez cut the deficit in half before Isaac Martinez’s two-out double to left brought Fallon to within one in the third.
Two runs in the fifth inning swung the score in Fallon’s favor when Trevor Hyde tied the game on a single to center and Isiah Diaz singled in Hyde for their first lead of the game, 5-4.
A nine-run sixth inning ended the game due to the mercy rule, sealing Fallon’s return trip to the state tournament.
Three consecutive Greenwave hitters drove in runs with James Kelsey singling in a pair followed by Hyde’s RBI single that scored Baylor Sandberg. Martinez singled on the second pitch to score Kelsey and increase the lead to five runs.
After Diaz reached on an error to load the bases, Carter Paul roped a single into center to score both Hyde and Martinez. Chase Carnahan walked to load the bases again before Alves singled in both Diaz and Juarez. Sandberg ended the game with a sac fly to left, scoring Carnahan.
Despite a rocky second inning, Bryce Adams persevered on the hill, going six innings and striking out three.
In the 3-1 opening win of the tournament over North Valleys, Sandberg and Cooper Lee combined to handcuff the Panthers in the first game of the regional tournament on Thursday.
The scoring started in the second when Hyde doubled on a line drive to left and then scored on Martinez’s single into right. After advancing to third two batters later, Martinez stole home to give Fallon a 2-0 lead.
Hyde’s RBI single with two outs in the fifth extended the lead to three before North Valleys redeemed the run in the sixth on a two-out double.
Sandberg, who struck out 10 in 6.1 innings, surrendered a one-out hit in the final inning before Lee recorded the save with a popout and lineout.
With the win over the Panthers setting up a rematch with the top-seeded team in the region, Fallon’s late-inning scoring was the difference.
Down 1-0 in the fifth inning, Fallon loaded the bases when Martinez doubled and Mason Storm and Paul walked with one out. Diaz beat out a double-play to score Martinez and tie the game. Alves followed with a two-run single on a 1-2 count when he hit an opposite-field liner into right.
After Sandberg reached on an error to open the sixth, he stole third and then scored on another error to extend the lead to three runs.
Kelsey struck out 12 and gave up two hits and four walks in 6.1 innings for the win. Diaz got the final two outs for the save.
South Tahoe, though, would turn the tables for the regional title.
In the first game on Saturday, Alves, Sandberg and Kelsey each had two hits with Kelsey also driving in four runs.
Diaz and Cooper, after closing out the previous two games, struggled against the South Tahoe offense. Diaz gave up eight earned runs in 3.2 innings and Lee allowed six earned runs in 1.2 innings.
In the nightcap, the Vikings scored all of their runs in the second inning after the Greenwave built a 3-0 lead. Alves, Storm, Juarez and Eric Cornejo pitched for Fallon, which committed five errors.