SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With 10 returning seniors, South Tahoe baseball is eyeing another strong run at a state title.
The Vikings suffered a difficult 7-6 loss to rival Truckee last year in the 3A northern regional semifinal after leading 6-4 after three innings.
A win would have put South Tahoe in the regional title game that also comes with a berth to the state tournament.
Despite practicing mostly indoors with feet of snow all around Lake Tahoe, the Vikings have started the 2019 campaign strong in their efforts to eclipse what they did a season ago.
South Tahoe has won three of four, including two out of three this past weekend to open play in the Northern League.
The Vikings opened their season, March 2, with an 11-8 road win at McQueen in Reno and took two of three from Lowry on Friday and Saturday.
Senior Auston Burdick received the starting job for the league opener on Friday and tossed the first 4 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs while striking out seven.
Junior Travis Lee was "very effective" in relief according to Vikings head coach Starbuck Teevan, and saved Burdick's victory with 2 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
Vikings senior Cameron Johnson carried the big stick by scoring four times and driving in three with two hits and three walks.
Junior Jaden Aquino added two hits and a run batted in and Cameron Lehmann scored twice, stole three bases, drove in a run and singled.
South Tahoe suffered a 2-1 loss Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Johnson was the tough-luck starter on the mound. The righty allowed just one run in five innings while striking out five but the Vikings bats were silent.
Aquino came on in relief and surrendered the second run, unearned.
"Cameron threw a great game for us, but didn't get any run support," Teevan said. "A couple late errors in the field cost us, along with a late base-running mistake and our bats were flat. We played well, but came up a bit short with some mental mistakes."
Freshman Andrew Lehmann had two hits to lead the offense, Aquino added a single and sophomore Eric Vassar tripled and drove in the Vikings' run.
Kevin Lehmann's arm and bat helped the Vikings win the rubber match 11-7 in the afternoon.
The senior allowed jut two earned runs while also blasting a two-run home run and a triple to lead the offensive charge.
Aquino earned the save.
Vasser had two hits, two runs scored, two RBI's and four stolen bases
Andrew Lehmann, Johnson, Cameron Lehmann and Aquino each had a hit. Cameron Lehmann and Andrew Lehmann each had RBI's and senior Aaron Johnson walked four times and stole three bases.
South Tahoe (3-1, 2-1 Northern) next will play North Valleys Friday and Saturday in Reno.
The first pitch Friday is at 2 p.m. and the first game of the doubleheader Saturday is at 10 a.m.
The Vikings first home series is scheduled for March 29-30 against Spring Creek at South Tahoe Middle School, weather and field conditions permitting.