Fallon wins Fernley series
It started out as a pitcher’s duel but ended in a slaughter.
For the first two innings, Fallon and Fernley battled on the baseball diamond with only two runs scored before the Greenwave exploded for eight in the sixth to end the game, 10-0, via the mercy rule. With the victory, Fallon improved to 12-6 in the 3A North and won the series after dropping the first game to its cross-valley rival.
“It was a little bit of everything,” Fallon coach Lester de Braga said of the well-rounded effort. “The pitching was excellent as always. The batting was there. Defensively, we made some great plays. Overall, it was a great game.”
Fallon entertains the division’s best team, Dayton (14-3), Friday at 3 p.m. and then again on Saturday at 11 a.m. for a doubleheader. The Greenwave ends the regular season next week with a home series against Sparks.
“We’re getting to the part of the season where we’re really at our peak going into the playoffs,” de Braga said.
The 1-2 punch of senior Alex Mendez and sophomore Hayden Strasdin dazzled both on the mound and at the plate. Mendez started on the hill, going three innings with three strikeouts and two hits allowed, while Strasdin retired Fernley on two hits and four strikeouts in the final three frames. Strasdin led the team at the plate with a three-hit performance and one RBI while Mendez drove in one.
“There’s not a whole lot of difference between the two,” de Braga said of his pair of aces. “They’re throwing strikes and striking batters out. They go in and throw strikes and keep the pitch count down.”
De Braga has been impressed with Strasdin this season, giving Fallon two threats in the starting rotation.
“Hayden is right there as a sophomore,” he added. “He’s come along really good. As the season has progressed, he’s gotten stronger and stronger.”
Chase Irvin and Brock Uptain led Fallon in RBIs with two apiece while Nate Pustovrh, T.J. Fagg and Edgar Alvarado each collected an RBI. Of Fallon’s nine hits in the game, Strasdin, Pustovrh and Sean McCormick each doubled.
Next up for Fallon is the resurgence of Dayton, which is riding a 13-game winning streak. Dayton hasn’t lost since March 24 against Spring Creek and has lost only one series all season, last month to Elko in the first series of the year.
Eight Dust Devils are hitting above .300, including Dylan Baker and Jesse Schmidt, who have belted 11 home runs between them. Dayton also has a trio of hurlers who have stifled the bats with Trevor Burrows leading the team in ERA at 1.37 followed by Isaac Von Schoff’s 1.40 mark.
“It’s getting to that time of the year when we are concentrating on putting things together,” de Braga said. “It’s important to win these games and get better seeding at regionals. Every win is a plus.”