gamble pays off
LAS VEGAS — Traditionally, the house wins.
However, a gamble by Fallon baseball coach Lester de Braga paid off, and the Greenwave’s offensive barrage sparked an 8-2 win over Boulder City on Thursday at Las Vegas High School.
De Braga handed the ball to Riley Williams in hopes his No. 2 starter could pick up the win so Fallon could throw ace Alex Mendez against Faith Lutheran. It couldn’t have worked any better.
“We consider just as good or could be our ace as well as Mendez can,” de Braga said. “It worked well because now we have Mendez ready for the second game.”
Williams struggled in the first inning allowing one run in the first inning, but settled down and went five innings with three strikeouts. Chase McElvain shut the door in relief, but was aided by a beautiful over-the-head diving catch by shortstop Sage Mori to kill an Eagles rally.
As a result, Fallon played Faith Lutheran — 8-5 winners over Elko in the first game — although results of the nightcap were not available at press time.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom half of the first, Marshall Coverston and Tyler Bagby scored on a triple by Dylan Jabines. The Wave added another run in the second inning after Williams, who led off with a double, scored on a single by Dalton Frank.
The onslaught continued in the third when Jabines and Branden Beeghly singled to start a three-run inning.
Jabines scored on an error by Eagles starting pitcher Peyton Koopman, who threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt to first base. Jack Swisher followed with a walk to loaded the bases and Sage Mori drove in two with a double to give the Wave a 6-1 lead.
Fallon scratched across two more runs in the fourth inning after Jabines doubled home Bagby, and Jabines scored on a passed ball.
“I look up and down my order, one through nine, and we don’t have a lot of weaknesses,” de Braga said. “We are swinging it and that’s what they are expected to do.”
Boulder City, meanwhile, tallied its run in the first when Koopman doubled home Austin Wishard.
Baserunning, though, hindered Boulder City’s chances of more runs. Leadoff hitter Nolan Desantis was hung up at third base after stopping short of scoring.
Later in the inning, Koopman was thrown out at the plate when Frank fired a bullet from centerfield to record the second out.
“If you’re going to be a championship team, you got to make those plays,” de Braga said. “That could’ve been a momentum swing, especially with Dalton’s catch.”
Fallon played Faith Lutheran in the second game Thursday afternoon, winning 4-3 to advance to the championship round.
Alex Mendez hurled a complete game for the Greenwave. Fallon scored four runs in the second inning. The Crusaders scored a run in each of the second, third and seventh innings. No other details were available at press time. The championship game, a best of two series, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Las Vegas High.