Wave sweeps the Vikings this weekend
The Greenwave’s Kendall Johnson pitched a one-hitter against South Tahoe in their first game on Friday, winning 10-0, and paving the way for two slightly more competitive Wave victories, 12-5 and 11-2, on Saturday.
This was the Wave’s first league first meeting against the Vikings since the Reno tournament with their next games at home against the Truckee Wolverine on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Fallon head coach Lester de Braga said the Wave had a set lineup for the weekend and that the three games gave his team a feel for who they are, while South Tahoe struggled.
“Anytime you come out and sweep a team, they odds are that you’re not going to win all three,” de Braga said. “It was a great start for us.”
Johnson limited the Vikings to one hit to start the Wave’s conference season. He hurled 62 strikes and 42 balls for a 0.773 percent rating.
“He settled in and finally got his groove,” de Braga said of Johnson’s performance. “He started to throw the ball a little better and got his jitters out. We’re expecting big things out of him. We just have to get him more playing time.”
Johnson’s appeared tight at first, however, walking the bases loaded in the first inning with his fastball rising too high to be effective.
Nonetheless, Johnson held the line and three strikeouts later, the Wave had a 6-0 lead by the bottom of the third inning.
The Wave’s Marshall Coverston and Cameron Beyer led the team by scoring two runs each that begun a notable batting average for them for the weekend.
De Braga commended Coverston and Beyer at the plate and on the field and said Coverston is constantly on base and stands out while Beyer is hitting the ball well for the Wave this season.
Saturday’s first game began after a pre-game ceremony featuring veterans of former Fallon state championship baseball teams from 1957’s Dave Lumos to 2015 graduate Alex Mendez, all pitching to catcher Brock Uptain. The exception was of 1974 state championship pitcher Danny Clifford, who threw to his own son Eric Clifford, an assistant to coach de Braga.
“I’ve grown up here so I know every one of the guys,” de Braga said of the opening ceremony with the former state champions. “It’s not so much of a reward for us but for the guys to be back on the field. Hopefully, it’s not only a good thing for the program but it was great for them to participate.”
Mendez started on the mound for the Wave in the first game but began wobbly to walk the first batter before recording three strikeouts.
Fallon’s Brandon Beeghly knocked in Marshall Coverston for the first run of the day with an RBI.
By the top of the fourth, it looked like the Wave might 10-run the Vikings again with a 9-0 lead until a South Tahoe batter stole home when a slider from Mendez got past Uptain.
Vikings senior Paul Hoefer got on base with a smack to right field over Fallon’s heads. In no time Hoefer was on third with South Tahoe’s Garrett Harley at the plate hoping to bring him in.
With the bases loaded Hoefer scored the last run of the inning before the Wave got up to bat again but still far ahead at 9-2.
The lead remained too much for the Vikings to catch the Wave by the seventh inning despite a final run by South Tahoe’s Caleb Caramazza who stole home.
In the third game the Vikings began looking like they might keep the rhythm they found against Fallon in the previous loss. The optimism was short-lived with Fallon’s Calvin Greenwell and Clay Davison sharing pitching duties on the mound while Johnson and Mendez took a rest in the infield.
Greenwell pitched for 0.429 percent effectiveness with 50 strikes of 83 pitches, followed by Davison as the closer for the top of the seventh who threw 18 strikes of 31 pitches.