By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer
Missing several starters and playing with just 10 players, the White Pine High School baseball team fell to North Tahoe (12-0), Whittell (6-1) and Incline (10-2) last weekend. But though the Bobcats dropped three games, head coach Jim Sattler said the team didn’t play poorly. But missing four starters meant that White Pine wasn’t as much of a threat as it would have been playing at full strength.
“Whittell was a team at full strength we would beat,” Sattler said. “Against Incline, it should have been 4-2. We had to make a choice whether to have a good defense on the infield or the outfield. We chose the infield and it wasn’t the right choice”
Two misplayed fly balls led to five of Incline’s 10 runs.
Despite the losses, Sattler said he saw a few bright spots from the weekend. As a whole, Sattler said he was pleased with the team’s base running and saw a few players perform well.
“Mike Williams is back at full strength pretty much,” Sattler said. “He went three-for-seven. Ben Miller was good on the bases. He got on about five times and had four stolen bases and scored two of the four runs we scored.”
While players showed the ability to steal and advance once they got on base, the issue has been in getting more runners on base and into scoring position. That proved difficult with several players seeing their first game action of the season and the bottom of the order struggling to get hits and advancing runners, the Bobcats failed to find any rhythm at the plate.
“We were just a couple kids missing from being competitive,” Sattler said. “Our kids that were there, especially the varsity starters were frustrated and I don’t blame them.”
White Pine won’t have time to think about what could have happened, however. A series at Battle Mountain kicks off a four-week stretch against Division opponents to end the regular season and the Bobcats face a critical stretch if it is going to qualify for post-season play. Whether that happens will likely depend on if White Pine can pull everything together during the final month of the regular season.
“When we have our best defense on the field and Wyatt (Williams) and Ben (Miller_ pitch well, we can be competitive,” Sattler said. “When they throw strikes, they’re tough. We just haven’t, except for those two games we won at Lovelock, we haven’t done it all consistently.”
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