Fallon crushes Fernley, sets up key series with Elko
Two weeks after being one-hit by its cross-valley rival, the Greenwave baseball team exploded in its second meeting against Fernley.
After a week of no games, Fallon defeated Fernley, 11-1, on Tuesday at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. Fallon improved to 6-4 in the 3A North hosting first-place Elko (10-3) this weekend for a three-game series. Game 1 is today at 3 p.m. and Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 11 a.m. The Truckee makeup game has been scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. in Fallon, as well.
After being dominated by Fernley’s pitching earlier in the month, the Greenwave bats erupted this week.
“We hit the ball really well. We started the game out right,” Fallon coach Lester de Braga said. “We were finally getting back to the right approach at the plate.”
Facing six Fernley pitchers, including the same set that baffled Fallon in the first meeting, the Greenwave scored seven times in the first two innings before adding three in the fourth. The Greenwave ended the game with the mercy rule in the sixth inning with a run.
“It was just something we had to get back to work on,” de Braga said.
Jack Swisher led Fallon at the plate with three hits and two RBI while Edgar Alvarado and Alex Mendez each collected two hits. Mendez also drove in three, while Nate Pustovrh and Sean McCormick each had one hit. McCormick drove in one RBI and Hayden Strasdin had three.
Mendez, Alvarado and McCormick each tripled.
Mendez and Strasdin teamed up on the mound to shut down the Vaqueros. Mendez started and pitched 2.1 innings and struck out four before being lifted for Strasdin. De Braga said Mendez was on a 40-pitch count with the Elko series looming as Strasdin pitched 3.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four.
Next up for Fallon is Elko, which has turned into one of the Greenwave’s biggest rivals.
“Elko’s somebody we know is going to be tough every time we face them,” de Braga said. “We are looking forward to playing them at home. Hopefully, we can put everything together and go right at them.”
The Indians knocked off Fallon in last year’s regional championship but Fallon had the upper hand two years ago, defeating Elko in the regional title before winning the state championship.
This year appears to be no different as fans can expect high-quality baseball.
Elko leads the league with a 10-3 record after sweeping a three-game series from Sparks last weekend. The Indians opened the season at the Cactus Classic tournament, facing Virgin Valley and San Juan (Blending, Utah).
Elko has won all four of its series, taking two of three against Dayton, South Tahoe and Lowry. The Indians also knocked off Spring Creek in a single game last month. Elko holds the tiebreaker over Dayton, also 10-3 in league.
Julian Loera and Alec Wall lead the team in hitting, both eclipsing the .400 mark through 17 games. Wall (.474 batting) leads Elko in home runs (two), triples (seven) and RBI (24), while Loera leads in average at .480.
Loera, a junior, is also the team’s ace, allowing only four earned runs in 34 innings (0.82 ERA) to go with his 4-1 record and 29 strikeouts. Freshman Colby Tiner (3-1) is second on the team in ERA at 2.85 and sophomore Brycen Kelly (2-2) has a 3.54 ERA.
“We just focused on what we needed to do to get better. We can’t control what the other team’s going to do,” de Braga said about the team’s approach.