Fallon aims to make waves in stretch run
Warmer temperatures and the improbability of snow dampening anyone’s spring must mean the Greenwave are entering the home stretch of the season.
From the softball team’s perfect league record to the boys track and field team defeating most of the bigger schools, Fallon is having another good spring as the season enters the second half.
The playoff picture has cleared up since the first pitch was thrown last month for both the baseball and softball teams.
The Lady Wave (11-0) are still perfect in Northern Division I-A play after sweeping a road series in Elko (4-10) and will entertain second-place Lowry (11-1) this weekend. The Buckaroos nearly upset Fernley in last year’s regional tournament after falling to Fallon in the state title game two years ago.
The toughest part of the league schedule, though, will be completed after this weekend as Fallon has one game left with Fernley (9-2) and three series against Dayton (4-7), Sparks (1-12) and South Tahoe (5-6).
The pitching has been stronger than last year, but the bats have more pop as Fallon has scored in double digits in eight of its 11 league games. Although Fallon has already won the season series over Fernley with two road wins, the defending state champ won’t be an easy out once the playoffs begin next month at South Tahoe. But Fallon’s determination to get back on that state championship horse has fueled the Lady Wave to 11 straight wins with the last loss coming in the opening-season tournament on March 15.
On the baseball diamond, Lester de Braga’s squad suffered a setback in Elko being swept by the defending regional champs. The Indians invoked the mercy rule in the last two games as Fallon’s pitching and defense weren’t on the same page and the hitting couldn’t match Elko. Fallon (6-5) had won six straight games before last weekend.
Instead of fighting for the No. 1 seed in the league, Fallon’s now battling for the third and fourth spots as South Tahoe (10-3) and Elko (10-4) are on top. South Tahoe, though, won the season series against Elko but lost a slugfest to Dayton on Tuesday.
The Greenwave, though, are battling with their cross-valley rival, Fernley (7-4), and Spring Creek (8-6) and Lowry (6-6) for seeding, but there’s still plenty of baseball left in the season. Fernley and Fallon meet once more, and Fallon still has three series against Dayton (3-8), Sparks (2-12) and South Tahoe (10-2).
This weekend, however, will test Fallon as Lowry visits the Lahontan Valley. Whoever wins this series will be put in the best position to not only make the postseason, but to sneak in as a top seed. The pitching staff must forget about the Elko series and start anew with Lowry today or another trip to the playoffs will be in jeopardy. Remarkably, Fallon’s pitching staff has allowed the second-fewest runs in league play but the offense is fifth in runs scored.
The boys track and field team has the strongest chance of all the boys sports this spring to do serious damage in the postseason.
Fallon has not only dominated the Northern DI-A competition this season, but the Greenwave are performing better than most of the Division I schools. Fallon took second in the Northwestern Invitational at McQueen two weeks ago, finishing ahead of Division I schools Douglas, Damonte Ranch, Bishop Manogue, Spanish Springs, Reed and Carson.
The Greenwave are well-rounded among the sprints, distance running, jumps and throws (discus and shot put), as they sport the best pole vaulter in the region and are near the top in most events.
Fallon, which competed at Del Oro last weekend, competes in the Reed Rotary Invitational this weekend and will get another chance to defeat McQueen after falling to the Lancers in two meets.
The girls team isn’t having as much success as the boys but are led by Elena Murray, Emily Coleman and Patricia Leggett. Fallon’s in a rebuilding phase but still showing it can compete as it trailed only one Division I-A school (Spring Creek) at the McQueen meet.
After the Reed meet, both teams will travel back to California next week before hosting their final meet of the year on April 30. Fallon travels to Carson and Lowry for meets before the regional meet in Winnemucca on May 16-17.
The boys golf team and both boys and girls swim teams sit near the middle of the Division I-A pack. The golfers are in sixth place after one tournament (Fernley), while the swim team should represent well at the regional meet with the hope of sending several to state.
Fallon athletics continue to prove that realignment four years ago was one of the best things to happen to the school off the field. But will the Greenwave be able to convert their regular-season success into state titles like two years ago?
Prepare for another fun ride into May and be ready to swarm the state tournaments, as all but one will be hosted in the Reno-Tahoe area.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at email@example.com.