Despite playing at Sparks, Truckee was designated the home team due to poor field conditions at Truckee High. Wet winter conditions in recent months still have the Wolverines’ home field unplayable.
The Wolverines got a jump on Sparks (1-7, 0-4 3A North) in the first inning, pushing across a trio of runs for an early 3-0 lead.
Truckee maintained the three-run lead until the fourth inning when the Railroaders got themselves on the scoreboard. Dennis Morelli led off with a single and scored when Joe Puccinelli stepped up with a double. Puccinelli then scored on a double from pitcher Kirk Putman.
“I feel pretty good with our play today,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “We’ve been lacking the last couple weeks and not hustling.”
With just a one-run lead, Truckee got another score in to extend its edge to 4-2 at the conclusion of the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Zusy ripped a leadoff triple and scored on a Jared McDonnell single.
In the top of the fifth, Sparks got the scoreboard margin back down to one. With one out, Andrew Garcia doubled and reached third on a wild pitch. Morelli hit a sacrifice fly into left field, plating Garcia for the 4-3 score.
“The kids played hard. They gave it a good effort,” Vasko said.
That was as good as it got for the local squad. Truckee rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to put away Sparks for the day. With two outs, James DePew was hit by a pitch to get on base for the Wolverines. Matt Thesis followed with a single, putting two on for Truckee. Next, Ben Bolton doubled, sending DePew in for a run. With runners on second and third, Zusy hit a long single, sending in both Bolton and Thesis for a 7-3 led over Sparks.
“They did a great job. They’re a good hitting team,” Vasko said.
The Railroaders mustered one last run, in the top of the seventh. Garcia singled for Sparks and scored on a single by Morelli, and a Truckee error, accounting for the 7-4 final score.
Putman pitched all six innings for Sparks, finishing with four strikeouts while scattering 10 hits.
Sparks had seven hits on the day.
Sparks hosts Truckee Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
- SOFTBALL -
An 11-run fourth inning and seven errors proved way too much for the Sparks High softball team to overcome. The result was a 14-1 loss to Truckee in a 3A North League tilt Wednesday afternoon.
Truckee, which was designated the home team after unplayable field conditions moved the game away from the California school’s campus, held a 3-0 lead after three and a half innings of action. However, the Wolverines blew the game open with their 11 runs in the fourth.
Four of Sparks seven errors came in the Truckee’s 11-run rally and all four came on the the same sequence.
Sparks pushed across its lone run in the top of the fifth. Amanda Mahon doubled and Gabby Durante singled. A sacrifice bunt by Jasmine Hernandez plated Mahon. Mahon’s double and Durante’s single were the lone Railroaders hits on the day.
Truckee pitcher Rachel Zissimos picked up the complete-game victory in the contest, which was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. She struck out four and walked just one.
“Our pitchers threw pretty well but we didn’t make any plays behind them,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “And then offensively, we put the ball in play, but everything just trickled out there. We weren’t finishing swings.
“We played aggressive (last weekend) in Susanville and then we came home, where we should play more intense, but we played very lethargic.”
Sparks (1-4-1, 0-2) will meet Truckee again Saturday when it hosts a twin bill that begins at 11 a.m.