Patient hitting gives Fallon series win
LVN Editor Emeritus
Patience paid off in Fallon’s third and final baseball game against South Tahoe at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
The Greenwave rallied in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader, 6-5, to win the Northern 3A series and improve its league mark to 5-1, 5-5-1 overall. Fallon played at Fernley on Tuesday. South Tahoe finished the weekend series 5-5 overall, 2-4 in league.
“On the first game on Friday, we hit the ball really well and came back (in Saturday’s second game),”said Fallon coach Lester de Braga. “In the first game Saturday, we got humbled, but this is what the sport is all about.”
De Braga said his team needed to be more patient, and they responded in the third game.
Fallon had taken a 3-0 lead before the visiting Vikings tied the game with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth. South Tahoe grabbed a 5-3 lead with two runs in the top of the sixth inning before Fallon rallied.
With two out in the fourth, South Tahoe’s Bryin Schouten hit an RBI to centerfield, and Peyton Galli beat out an infield single to open the fifth. After a wild pitch advanced Galli, Tyler Cannon laced a ground-rule double for a run, and Cameron Lehmann’s groundout resulted in another run.
The Vikings took the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth on Cannon’s two-run double.
Edgar Alvarado ignited the Wave in the bottom of the sixth inning with a leadoff homer off a 1-2 count. His solo shot sail deep over the center/left field fence near the scoreboard.
“Edgar is the type of kid I got in the fourth spot, and he’s capable of hitting the ball out every time he swings the bat,” de Braga said. “Again, it comes back to him being patient at the plate.”
Alvarado, who hit two home runs in the season’s first game , said he’s been working on the outside pitch as well as the fastball.
“The pitch was a fastball over the plate, I got the barrel on it, and yea, I got a hold of it,” Alvarado said of his booming shot.
In Friday’s game, Alvarado had a hit and RBI.
Fallon then put two runners on base before pinch hitter Tommy McCormick laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third base and then loaded the bases when a high inside ball hit Brenden Larsen.
Jake Wickizer showed his patience at the plate, fouling back at least eight pitches. He smacked a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score the tying run. Left-handed batter Brock Richardson watched the first pitch sail past him for a ball. On the second pitch, he ripped an opposite-field RBI to put Fallon back on top with a 6-5 lead.
Richardson said his hitting wasn’t that good against South Tahoe because he had problems with lunging and popping up the ball.
“My last at bat, I was focused in keeping my weight back and driving the ball,” the Fallon sophomore said of driving in the go-ahead run.
Larsen, who had relieved starter Chase Irvin after five innings, picked up the win. He also retired South Tahoe in the top of the seventh on two groundouts and an infield fly ball.
Fallon jumped on the Vikings with two runs in the first inning on Alvarado’s ground-rule double, and Shaw Lee drove in a run with a bloop single. Wickizer drove in a run in the second inning.
Fallon had to comeback against South Tahoe in the first game on Friday.
The Wave spotted South Tahoe three runs in the top of the first inning before slicing the lead with Alvarado’s two-run single.
After starting pitcher Hayden Strasdin settled down, he quieted the Tahoe bats in the second inning to give the Wave an opportunity to regroup.
The Wave took a one-run lead in the bottom half of the inning off starting pitcher Jaden Aquino. Irvin, who doubled, and Richardson reached base, and Sean McCormick hit a two-run single. South Tahoe, though, tied the game in the top of the third.
Fallon’s offense exploded with a five-run third inning. With bases loaded, Richardson walked to send a run home, and Wickizer slammed a ground-rule double for another RBI. Again, with the bases loaded, Shaw Lee hit an RBI double and Fallon added a run to lead 9-4.
The Vikings responded with three runs in the top of the fifth inning with two RBIs from Cannon and one from Pfister, who pitched the final three innings and recorded seven strikeouts.
Strasdin, the winning pitcher, went four innings, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out three. Fallon used three pitchers for an inning each to finish the game – Nate Galusha, Sean McCormick and Bryce Larsen.
“I still have room for improvement, but we got by for the win,” Strasdin said. “My curveball was nice and (also) my two-seam fastball. Honestly, I was not finishing but hitting the outside corners.”
Fallon banged out 11 hits with Richardson and Sean McCormick each having three. Lee and McCormick each drove in three runs.
The Wave dropped the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 8-0. South Tahoe’s Cameron Johnson surrendered three hits and fanned six in going the distance.
The Vikings took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and added two runs in the fourth on a two-run single from Schouten. After retiring quietly in the fourth and fifth innings, South Tahoe scored two runs in the sixth and iced the game with three more runs in the seventh.
Aquino led off the sixth inning with a single to left field. Two batters later, Cameron Lehmann’s beat out an infield hit followed by Aaron Johnson’s fielder’s choice. A Fallon throw missed the cutoff, and Aquino scored. On the first pitch, Johnson helped his own cause with an RBI single for a 5-0 Vikings lead.
Tucker Cannon and Pfister each singled home a run, and McCallan Castles doubled in another run.
“Their pitcher kept us off balance and we weren’t patient and rode on our front foot quite a bit,” de Braga said. “We made some adjustments between the two games on Saturday and the kids responded well.”