ELKO – The Elko baseball team’s doubleheader games could not have been more different Tuesday, the Indians needing a come-from behind win in the first half of the twin bill but owning the second contest from the opening pitch.
Elko swept North Valleys with wins of 8-4 and 19-4.
Following a scoreless first inning, North Valleys made the most of its hay in the top of the second.
Jace Miller drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a single from Harrison Hinkle to first base.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on a fly ball to center field from Gavin Hawkinson, driving in Miller.
Hinkle took third base on a wild pitch and scored on a fielder’s choice for a 2-0 advantage.
Following a strikeout by senior pitcher Brycen Kelly, North Valleys plated its third run – a two-out line drive left field by Amann Bassi sending in Hawkinson.
The Indians were retired in order in the bottom of the second, but Elko returned the favor with a one-two-three half in top of the third – senior Carter Alvarado catching a fly ball in right field, senior Austyn Marin settling under a popup at shortstop and Jones fielding a fly out in center.
Elko got on the board in the bottom of the third, sophomore Lincoln Ratliff leading off with a bunt single.
Marin drew a walk – the runners advancing to second and third on a passed ball.
Senior Christian Quintana drove in Ratliff with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Indians pulled to within one when Marin rolled home from an RBI base knock by Jones up the gut, but the Indians ran into an out on the bases paths and struck out to close the frame.
Elko quickly put two away in the top of the fourth on a fly out to Quintana in left field and a punchout from Kelly, but the Panthers rallied when a batter was hit by a pitch.
Bradley Cappini placed runners on the corners with a groundball down the third-base line, and an error behind the plate allowed Ashton Olson to score North Valleys’ final run.
Senior Kaleb Martinez stayed hot, leading off the bottom of the fourth with his second hit in as many at-bats, ripping a hard grounder through the left side.
However, he was retired at second base on a fielder’s choice.
Kelly reached on another fielder’s choice – insert senior courtesy runner Kohl McIntosh.
He made things happen; stealing second base, taking third on a passed ball and racing to the plate on another pitch to the backstop – trimming the margin to one at 4-3.
Elko’s defense did its job in the top of the fifth, escaping a pair of singles.
Following a leadoff K, Noah Higashi sent a base knock to left field – Miller poking an infield single to short with two outs.
With runners on the corners, Kelly’s second punchout of the frame got the Indians out of a jam.
Quintana provided a spark for Elko in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out line drive to right field, advancing to third on consecutive hits – Jones ripping a line up the middle and taking second base on the throw to third.
Martinez drew a walk and loaded the bases, and junior Colby Tiner watched four consecutive balls for a bases-juiced RBI – Quintana tying the ballgame.
All North Valleys managed was a one-out single in the top of the sixth, and the deciding frame came down to the bottom half – beginning with an infield single for Ratliff with one away.
A walk to Marin placed two runners on base, but he was retired at second with a fielder’s choice to the second out.
With two away, Jones walked and crammed the bases full – setting the stage for a game-changing pinch hit.
McIntosh stepped to the dish and went the opposite way, smoking the first pitch he saw down the line in right field.
Ratliff cruised in from third, Quintana scored from second and Jones turned on the jets – the three-RBI, standup triply by McIntosh changing the complexion of the game and the score.
Elko grabbed a 7-4 lead, and McIntosh pushed the advantage to four runs when he was driven in by a base knock from Martinez to the left side.
Clay Parry led off the top of the seventh with a single to center field, but Tiner fielded a popup at second base for the first out.
Kobe Grassi was hit by a pitch, forcing the Indians to go to the bullpen.
Junior Cutler Macias stepped to the mound and was as cool as a cucumber, closing the game with consecutive strikeouts against the two batters he faced.
Elko started slowly and came from behind for an 8-4 victory.
McIntosh led the Indians with three RBIs on his triple in his only AB, tying for the team high with two runs scored.
Ratliff (2-for-3) and Quintana (1-for-2 with an RBI) also scored two runs.
Martinez hit a perfect 3-for-3 and drove in a run, and Jones finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Tiner drove in a run without notching a hit, and Marin scored the Indians’ other run.
Kelly allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits over 6-1/3 innings with four strikeouts and a walk.
In relief, Macias struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning for the save.
NORTH VALLEYS – 030 100 0 – 490
ELKO – 002 114 X – 891
The second contest was no contest.
Elko jumped on the Panthers early in a 19-4 victory in four innings, despite a two-running effort from North Valleys in the top of the first.
Cappini and Bassi each singled in succession to lead off the frame, both scoring on a two-out double by Grassi.
The frame ended with the second strikeout by Tiner.
In the bottom half, the Indians got crooked – leading off with back-to-back doubles by Jones and Martinez – Jones scoring on the latter two-bag rip.
Tiner was hit by a pitch, and Martinez rolled home on an opposite-way single by Kelly.
A base knock by Alvarado up the middle scored McIntosh, and Ratliff reached on a bunt with an error on the mound – loading the bases.
Marin tagged a two-RBI double for a 5-2 lead – driving in Kelly and Alvarado – and Ratliff scored on a passed ball.
Quintana drove in Marin with a base knock up the gut, and the Indians rallied with two away – scoring five more runs.
Martinez sent in Quintana with an error at short, Tiner singled to center field and back-to-back walks – one with the bases packed – scored Martinez.
Ratliff landed the haymaker, hammering a shot to left field – driving in McIntosh, Kelly and Alvarado – sliding around a play at third for a three-RBI triple and a 12-2 lead.
Elko sat down North Valleys in order in the top of the second with two groundballs and a fly out.
The Indians made another two-out surge in the bottom of the second.
Jones was hit by a pitch, scoring on a triple to right field by Martinez – who came home on a double by Tiner on a ball that nearly left the yard up against the chain link in left field.
Kelly wore a pitch in the back, and McIntosh scored on a double to left by Alvarado.
An error at first base resulted in two runs – Kelly and Alvarado each crossing the plate – and Marin singled up the middle.
Senior Lukas Nelms pinch hit and whacked an RBI double to left field and scored Ratliff for the sixth and final run of the frame for an 18-2 lead.
North Valleys scored its final runs in the top of the third, Cappini plated by a double to center field and Bassi driven in by a sacrifice fly to left field by Higashi – Marin making a great catch from his position at shortstop on the play.
Following consecutive base knocks by Grassi and Miller, Elko ended the inning with a strikeout by Tiner.
The squads traded one-two-three defensive efforts in the top of the bottom of the third and the top of fourth.
Needing a run to push the advantage to 15, the Indians did exactly that.
Junior Jaren Gillespie reached on a one-out error at third base, Macias drew a walk and another error at third allowed Gillespie a walk-off stroll back to the plate – Elko ending the game early.
The Indians closed the show in the bottom of the fourth due to the 15-run rule, Elko blasting off for a 19-4 win in the series finale.
Alvarado drove in a trio of runs and scored three more – batting 2-for-3 with a double – and Ratliff finished the three RBIs on his triple and scored two times.
Martinez went 2-for-4 at the dish with a triple and drove in two runs – scoring three of his own – and Marin added a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with a double, a pair of RBIs and a run scored.
Kelly was 1-for-1 with an RBI and scored three runs, Tiner finished 2-for-3 with a double and drove in a run and Quintana went 1-for-2 – scoring a run and driving in another.
Jones hit 1-for-2 with a double and scored twice.
In his lone AB, Nelms’ two-bagger accounted for the Indians’ final RBI.
McIntosh served as the fourth Elko player with three runs scored.
On the bump, Tined allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits over four innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
NORTH VALLEYS – 202 0 – 465
ELKO – (12)(6)01 – (19)(13)1
The Indians will begin a three-game home series against Dayton at 2 p.m. Friday, at Upper Kump Field.