South Tahoe outscored Churchill County in their three-game set this past weekend but it wasn't enough to win the series in Fallon, Nevada.
The Vikings baseball team lost 9-7 Friday, March 23, in the opener. They bounced back Saturday with an 8-0 shutout behind a strong pitching performance from Cameron Johnson before falling 6-5 in heartbreaking style in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
Both teams came out swinging the bat in the opener. South Tahoe scored three runs in the top of the first, but Churchill scored two in the first and second and added five more in the third to make it 9-4. South Tahoe scored three in the fifth but that would be as close as it got.
Tucker Cannon went 2 for 2 with a triple, three runs scored and two runs batted in and Aaron Johnson had two singles and two RBIs to lead the Vikings offense. Jaden Aquino smacked a triple and drove in a run, Kevin Lehmann had two singles and Bryin Schouten singled and drove in a run.
"We made several errors and had a big base running error late in the game," said South Tahoe head coach Starbuck Teevan. "Our mistakes led to scoring opportunities for Fallon. We were down 9-4 late in the game, made a good comeback and had the tying runs on base with no-outs. We had a chance to tie it late and mental mistakes cost us that opportunity. If we can eliminate those mental mistakes, we have a good chance to win games."
The Vikings bounced back Saturday morning with an easy victory behind the arm of Cameron Johnson.
He hurled a 7-inning complete game 3-hitter while striking out six. He walked none.
"Cameron had an outstanding performance," Teevan said. "He was ahead of hitters all day, kept them off balance and defensively we played very well. Offensively, we had contributions throughout the line-up and had some clutch two-out hits."
Aquino paced the offense with three hits, including a double, and drove in two and scored twice.
Also for South Tahoe, Schouten singled and drove in two, Cannon and Cameron Johnson each had singles and RBIs, Aaron Johnson singled and scored twice and Kevin Lehmann doubled.
Tahoe had its chances in Game 3, but several errors and a number of walks ruined a late rally that gave the Vikings the lead.
Churchill led 3-0 after three innings but the Vikings rallied back.
With two out in the fourth, Schouten hit an RBI to centerfield. Peyton Galli beat out an infield single to open the fifth and advanced on a wild pitch. Cannon laced a ground-rule double to bring home Galli. Cameron Lehmann's groundout resulted in another run to tie the game heading into the sixth where the Vikings took the lead with a pair of runs on Cannon's two-run double.
But the Greenwave scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to claim victory and send the Vikings home disappointed.
"Peyton Galli pitched well enough and kept us in the game," Teevan said. "I felt he was the best guy in that spot to finish what he started, but I think he ran out of gas. We had every opportunity to win that game and series, but as a team we need to clean up the errors, walks and play better baseball all around."
Cannon was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Vikings offense. Galli went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Schouten was 3 for 3 with an RBI and run scored.
Galli (2-1) hurled a 6-inning complete game allowing four earned runs on six hits and five walls. It was his first loss of the season.
Tucker, Jaden and Bryin had several hits over the weekend, but we need more productive at-bats from other guys in the line-up, especially in clutch times during the games," Teevan said. "We have another tough test his weekend against Elko who's always a leader in our league, so hopefully we can learn from or mistakes and get better each day as we prepare for the Indians."
The Vikings (5-5, 2-4 3A Northern League) will play a three-game set against the Elko Indians on Friday and Saturday, March 30-31, at Carson High School. Friday's game begins at 3 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader starts at 11 a.m.
Steve Ransom of the Lahontan Valley News contributed to this report.