Fernley sweeps to Division I title

Fernley High School swept to the 3A Division I regular season championship by taking both ends of a doubleheader from Rite of Passage on Saturday in Yerington.

It was a pressure-filled day. It turned out to be a good day.

Garrett Hall singled Matt Lambeth home with the go-ahead run in the sixth inning as Fernley pulled out an emotion-packed 8-6 win in game one, and Lambeth pitched four-hit ball as the Vaqueros completed their sweep with a 7-1 win in game two.

By winning, Fernley (9-1, 25-7) clinched first place and earned the right to host the Division I tournament next Friday and Saturday.

Three teams from the tournament will advance to the 3A state tournament May 18-20 in Mesquite.

"That first game was a real barn burner," Fernley coach James Huckaby said. "It was an exciting game, and I'll tell you, the crowd was by far the best we've been associated with - it was real loud out there.

"Both teams played real well; it was tough to see either team lose a game like that. They played their hearts out."

Fernley took an early 6-0 lead before Rite of Passage came back to tie it with six runs in the third, highlighted by Anthony Lucero's three-run homer.

Fernley starter Levi Diaz got himself out of the third-inning jam when the left-hander picked a runner off first base to end the inning.

"That was a huge out. After that is when he really started pitching well. It was as if he decided, enough is enough," Huckaby said of Diaz, who rang up seven of his nine strikeouts over the last four innings.

Fernley broke the 6-6 tie in the sixth when Lambeth singled, stole second and scored on Hall's single to left field.

"It was a real good first game," Rite of Passage coach Rob Humphrey said. "Our kids played their hearts out; they were broken-hearted afterward. It was a tough loss, but we're real pleased with the effort they've put forth all season."

Fernley will open in the Division I tournament against Battle Mountain on Friday. Rite of Passage will make its first-ever postseason baseball appearance with an opening round game against Spring Creek.

Tournament brackets will officially be released in the next couple days. Both the softball and baseball tournaments will be played in Fernley.

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