ELKO – The Elko baseball team broke out of a funk.
With a seven-run inning in the bottom of the second, the Indians rolled to a 10-run win Friday over Fernley in the first game of the three-game series, beating the Vaqueros 11-1.
Fernley plated its only run of the game with two away in the top of the first.
Senior Kyle Heimbruch was hit by a pitch, scoring on an RBI single by sophomore Tucker Hall.
From then on, the Indians turned it up – scoring 11 run answered.
After a one-two-three defensive effort in the top of the second, Elko went bananas in the home half.
Senior Brycen Kelly led off with a base knock to center field, sophomore Lincoln Ratliff reaching with an error at short.
The bases were juiced with a walk to senior Austyn Marin, and Kelly tied the game as he was driven in by a single to center by senior Christian Quintana.
With the paths still packed, junior Rolando Acosta earned a free pass – driving in Ratliff for a 2-1 lead.
The mojo built, senior Kohl McIntosh also flying for a base knock to center field – scoring Marin – and senior Cooper Jones provided the hammer, crossing Quintana and Acosta with a two-run double to left.
A fly ball notched the second out of the frame, but the Indians regained traction quickly – Kelly coming back through the lineup and driving in McIntosh and Jones with a base knock to left field.
With a flurry, the Indians went from down to up six at 7-1.
Junior pitcher Colby Tiner struck out the first batter in the top of the third, and Elko avoided a one-out single by junior Trevor Hargett with a 4-3 double play by Acosta to Kelly.
Ratliff reached on a leadoff error in the home half, but the Vaqueros tallied a 6-4-3 double play and a 6-3 groundout to end the frame.
The Indians escaped a two-on, one-out jam with consecutive outs in the top of the fourth on a fly ball to Jones in center and a punchout by Tiner.
Acosta led off the bottom half with a walk, McIntosh following with a base-knock bunt toward third.
McIntosh stole second base, Acosta swiping home for an 8-1 lead.
With two gone, McIntosh scored on a passed ball for the final run of the inning.
Fernley went three-up, three-down in the top of the fifth – Tiner fanning the third hitter.
The Indians walked it off in the home half.
Ratliff reached on a dropped-third strike and advanced to second on a passed ball.
Quintana drew a two-out walk, and Acosta came through with a power hack – sending an opposite-way triple to right field.
Ratliff and Quintana scored with ease, Acosta strolling to third with a game-sealing, two-RBI triple.
Elko improved to 17-8 in the Division 3A North with an 11-1 win in five innings, dropping Fernley to 8-17 in league play.
Fernley pitching: Jones 1-2/3 IP 6 H 7 R 4 ER 2 BB 0 K, Glover 2-1/3 IP 2 H 3 R 2 ER 1 BB 3 K, Laird 1/3 IP 1 K, Chapin 0 IP 1 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 0 K.
Elko pitching: Tiner 5 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 6 K.
Fernley batting: Heimbruch 1-1 1 R, Hall 1-2 1 RBI, Hargett 1-3.
Elko batting: Kelly 3-3 2 RBI 1 R, Jones 2-3 2 RBI 1 R, McIntosh 2-3 1 RBI 2 R, Acosta 1-1 2 RBI 2 R, Quintana 1-2 1 RBI 2 R. 2B: Jones. 3B: Acosta.
FERNLEY – 100 00 – 132
ELKO – 070 22 – (11)90
The Indians will perform senior day an hour before their doubleheader – honoring Jones, McIntosh, Kelly, Kaleb Martinez, Quintana, Lupe Ortiz, Lukas Nelms, Marin, Carter Alvarado, Jacob Kath and Ronin Rowley at 9 a.m. Saturday at Upper Kump Field.
Elko will close the regular season with a twin bill at 10 a.m. and noon.