Second chance fails early in Fernley
FERNLEY — Leaving runners on base came back to bite the Greenwave baseball team again as Fallon lost a rematch with the Fernley Vaqueros, 3-1, on Tuesday afternoon.
After the second loss to Fernley (9-7 overall and 8-3 in DI-A) Fallon (10-6 overall and 7-4 in league) has its next game on the road, a series against the Elko Indians beginning Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a double header Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Wave coach Lester de Braga said this game was the same situation his players ran into the last time against Fernley as well as in their series loss to Spring Creek.
“We get runners in scoring position and then we don’t get the job done,” de Braga said. “We’ve got to learn to battle we’ve got to get them off the plate. We’re just not getting the job done.”
Vaqueros’ coach Jerry Torres said the win felt good particularly since Fernley is used to losing games against Fallon during past seasons.
“It’s just a good win for us,” Torres said. “Fallon’s a great team. Traditionally Fernley hasn’t done well against Fallon, but we’re turning the corner.”
Fallon’s Ricky Delgado pitched the first four innings and held Fernley scoreless for the first three, though Vaqueros’ pitcher Zach Burns managed the same against Fallon.
Alhough Vaqueros quickly loaded the bases with Kyle Throckmorton on third in scoring position, Giovanni Piroddi on second and Carlos McIntyre on first in the bottom of the third., Delgago ended the threat by striking out Burns and leaving three Fernley runners on base before the fourth inning.
Fallon’s Mike Porrhas scored the first run of the game for the Wave in the top of the fourth, but Fernley caught up in a big way in the bottom of the fourth, quickly loading the bases again before Stephen Emery scored to tie the game 1-1.
Delgado got the Wave to two outs, but the infield couldn’t keep up with Fernley’s consistent grounders through a sweet spot between second and shortstop. Piroddi knocked in the Vaqueros’ Josh Kirk for an RBI, followed by McIntyre who drove in Throckmorton to give the Vaqueros to a 3-1 lead before Fallon took Delgado off the mound for reserve pitcher Jake Wickizer.
Wickizer wouldn’t last long on the mound after loading the bases without a single strikeout before he too was replaced by Fallon reserve Nicholas Sanchez who would finish the inning.
“Ricky did a great job and for the most part I felt our pitching did their job,” de Braga said. “They pitched well enough to win this game for us but again it’s a team effort. It’s hard to lose but it’s something to learn from. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board, toughen up a little bit and make things happen next game.”
Torres also commended Fallon’s pitchers and said with a tough series on the horizon for the Wave against Elko, things could’ve been a lot different if he had to face Mendez or Kendall Johnson on the mound.
“We’re coming off of a tough series where we played really bad, so it’s nice to come out and play a little bit of defense,” Torres said. “But Fallon’s a great team, and we’re all going to be therr at the end when it’s time for regionals. Coach de Braga does a good job with his team and I’m just happy to come out with a win today.”
Fallon loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth looking to score until batter Alex Mendez was thrown out at first by Fernley second basemen McIntrye, leaving three Fallon runners on. Fernley’s Zach Burns pitched consistently for six innings before Torres brought in Brand Hades to finish the seventh inning and cinch the game for the Vaqueros. McIntyre was a veritably tireless infielder throughout the game for the Vaqueros, a senior whom Torres said does what he’s asked to do every game.
“He’s asked to play defense, to be a leader and do the things we need him to do because we’ve got a fairly young team,” Torres said. “Most of our bigger players Zach Burns, Josh Kirk, our shortstop’s a freshman so we’ve got a lot of young guys in need of that leadership, and Carlos has embraced the role as well as playing second base rather than shortstop. He’s a fantastic second basemen with the quickness you need at that position.”
Torres also commended Burns on the mound and said the veteran pitcher has already clinched several games for the Vaqueros this season.
“He was a closer and I had him come in every game, but when I lost my no.1 pitcher everybody had a different role now,” Torres said. “So Zach stepped into that role and is a competitor, so he’s willing to take whatever he needs to do to win games for us. Any time you get Zach Burns on the mound you know you’re going to have a game.”
Fallon’s next challenge pits them against a team much like themselves at Elko with a deep bench of 15.
“They’re like us in that they’re going to have a big team with a lot of kids who are going to come out and battle, and they’re going to be on the home field so it’s going to be a tough series,” de Braga said.