Fallon solidifies hold on first place
LVN Editor Emeritus
The Greenwave baseball team finished last weekend with a one-game edge in the Northern 3A standings after taking its series against Lowry at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Fallon doubled up the visiting Buckaroos on Friday, 14-7, and then rode a complete-game win from Hayden Strasdin for a 3-2 victory in Saturday’s first game. Lowry, though, broke open the second game of the doubleheader in the sixth inning to crash the Wave, 15-3.
Going into the final weekend of play at Dayton before next week’s regional playoffs, Fallon, 16-9-1 and 16-5 in league, travels to Dayton on Friday for the first of three games, while Elko, 15-6, plays Fernley. Fallon holds the tie-breaker over Elko in case both teams tie at the end of the regular season.
“I thought Truckee would take a game and possibly two,” said Fallon coach Lester de Braga regarding the Elko-Truckee series.
Strasdin threw a three-hitter by striking out 10 and walking none. The Fallon junior set the tone by striking out the side in the top of the first inning and then relying on his defense to turn a double play in the second inning.
The Greenwave provided all the offensive support Strasdin needed in the third inning against Lowry pitcher Tazmin Milton, who also pitched a complete game by limiting Fallon to seven hits while fanning three.
With one out in the second inning, Tommy McCormick walked, and Chase Irvin reached base on an error before Jake Wickizer singled. Brock Richardson’s sacrifice scored Fallon’s first run.
Nate Galusha followed with a single to right field, but another Lowry error led to two more Greenwave runs.
Lowry chipped away at the lead with a run in the third inning and another run in the fourth.
Third baseman Riley Sakurada singled on Strasdin’s first pitch to the Lowry third baseman. After striking out Anthony Hemp, Strasdin hit Tyler Neu. Lowry then took advantage of a Greenwave throwing error that allowed a run to score.
Strasdin then fanned Joshua Leveille for his sixth strikeout.
Milton retired Fallon in order in the bottom of the third — aided by a double play — before Lowry cut the lead to a run in the fourth.
With two outs, Strasdin plunked Sakurada with an inside curve ball, and Hemp followed with a deep hit for an RBI. Hemp tried to reach third but was thrown out sliding.
Milton retired the side in the fourth and fifth innings before running into a jam in the sixth. Catcher Edgar Alvarado singled, but Milton retired the next two batters. Brenden Larsen tagged an infield hit off the Lowry hurler, but Tommy McCormick popped up to first base to end the threat.
Strasdin retired Lowry quietly in the seventh, striking out the final two batters on called strikes.
“He’s been our go-to guy, but if not for the hit batsmen, they would’ve not scored a run,” de Braga said. “It’s something we can live with if he performs like he does and keeps more runners off base.”
De Braga, though, said Fallon needed the strong outing from Strasdin because the Greenwave’s hitting in the doubleheader wasn’t as productive as he wanted.
Strasdin said his inside curve ball was working well although. At times, though, the curve ball wouldn’t break against Lowy. After the first two innings, though, Strasdin was riding high on the mound.
“Striking out the first three batters (of the game) was a confidence-builder for me,” he said.
The junior right-hander, 4-2 for the season, said he doesn’t like close games, but he had the confidence to defeat the Buckaroos.
After staking Fallon to a 12-1 lead in Friday’s game, Lowry score six runs over the last three innings to give the Greenwave some heartburn and an urge to reach for the Tums.
Brenden Larsen, though, pitched six innings and recorded the win for Fallon, while his brother, Bryce, wrapped up the game with an inning of work.
Brenden Larsen, 5-0, though, spotted Lowry with a one-run lead in the first after pitcher Jake Marriott hit a single with two outs.
Marriott struggled on the mound for Lowry, giving up eight runs in the first inning as the Fallon offensive provided some offensive fireworks.
Richardson opened the game with a walk followed by Galusha’s groundout and Sean McCormick’s walk to put runners on first and second.
Alvarado ripped a single to drive in Fallon’s first run, and first baseman Shaw Lee smacked a hard double to deep centerfield for two more runs. Brenden Larsen helped his own cause with an RBI infield single, but a throwing error led to Fallon’s fourth run.
Tommy McCormick’s bloop single made the score 5-1, but Richardson, batting for the second time in the inning, unleased a triple to deep right field for two runs, and a throwing error on Galusha’s infield hit allowed Richards to cross the plate for an 8-1 lead.
Marriott settled down in the second inning, retiring Fallon in order, but he then gave up three runs in the third before Ridge Ricketts relieved him with one out. Wickizer hit a two-run triple, but Ricketts uncorked a wild pitch to score Wickizer, while two batters later, Sean McCormick batted in another run.
Brenden Larsen started the fifth inning by giving up a leadoff triple to Ricketts. Brendan Domire then hit the first pitch he saw for a run-producing single, and two batters later, Marriott singled up the middle for Lowry’s third run and fourth hit in the inning.
With no outs, Larsen fanned Milton, and Sakurada hit a line drive to shortstop. After loading the bases, Larsen escaped the inning when Neu flied out to centerfield.
Larsen pitched a good game for the first five innings, but for the rest of the game he struggled.
“It wasn’t my greatest game pitched,” he said. “They were hitting the ball better, and I was leaving the ball up.”
Fallon loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but Ricketts struck out Alvarado on a swing-strike three, and Lee flied out.
Each team scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning.
Larsen retired the first two batters he faced, but Domire tripled, and Leveille followed with an RBI triple. Marriott hit a single off a 2-1 count for Lowry’s second run of the inning.
Wickizer ended the inning with a perfect throw from centerfield to third base that nailed Marriott at the bag.
Fallon responded with two runs on a two-run single from Richardson with two outs.
Fallon reliever Bryce Larsen pitched the seventh, allowing an RBI double from Hemp and a sacrifice fly from Domire.
Lowry outhit Fallon, 18-15.
Marriott, Domire and Ricketts each had three hits for Lowry, while Leveille and Milton each had two. For Fallon, Richardson and Brenden Larsen each paced the Wave with three hits, and Tommy McCormick and Alvarado each had two hits.
De Braga said the defense from his infielders keeps improving, and he singled out Galusha for his steady improvement. Galusha, who has played consistently on the left side of the infield and also at second base, has become solid.
“Each and every game he keeps improving,” de Braga said. “We rely on him for not only his glove but with his bat.”
Galusha, only a sophomore, said he was inconsistent earlier in the season, but he’s not setting his feet up and making the plays.
Lowry salvaged the third game, 15-3. An eight-run sixth inning against Bryce Larson and Sean McCormick iced the game for the Buckaroos and gave pitcher Lorenzo Mattson the win over Irvin, who pitched five innings.
Consecutive infield errors put Lowry runners on first and second. Mattson singled in a run, and Hemp drove in a pair with a single. After two Lowry hitters walked, Leveille knocked in two runs with a single, and Marriott hit an RBI single.
Fallon score three runs in the sixth on RBIs from Irvin and Alvarado.
Lowry scored four runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. Domire singled in two runs and Milton hit an RBI single in the fourth, while Leveille had a two-run hit in the fifth.
Mattson struck out seven and walked two in his eight-hit performance. Sean McCormick and Alvarado each finished the game with two hits, while Hunter Parsons, Lee, Richardson and Sean McCormick each had a hit.
“Brook and Edgar are consistent and they proved it this weekend,” de Braga said.
Richardson and Alvarado are batting .426 and .486, respectively, through 24 games.