Greenwave athlete aims for fourth state baseball appearance
The Greenwave saw their season end Saturday with a 4-1 loss against Elko in the region tournament at Todd Fields in South Lake Tahoe. With its win, Elko advanced to the finals of the double elimination tournament and took rival Spring Creek down to the wire — winning 9-7 before Spring Creek came back to the title with a 10-9 win. Spring Creek and Elko now move on to the 3A state tournament in Las Vegas this weekend.
Churchill County High School senior Jack Swisher has been to the state baseball tournament every year of his varsity career and this past week hoped to make it four in a row.
The Greenwave from Fallon were in position to make that happen when they were one of the last three teams standing in the Northern 3A Region Tournament in South Lake Tahoe. After its 10-4 loss to No. 1 seeded Spring Creek on Thursday, the Greenwave needed to beat Elko on Saturday to qualify for the 3A state tournament next week in Las Vegas (two teams represent the North).
Lake Tahoe was perhaps fitting for Swisher to make his final prep appearance in Northern Nevada, since his father, John Swisher, was a multi-sport star at George Whittell High School in the early 1980s, as was his uncle, Marty Swisher, the current principal at Douglas High. And Jack’s grandfather, Jim Swisher, served as a trustee for Douglas County schools.
Jack Swisher first became involved in Fallon sports at 5 years old with T ball and played varsity baseball as a freshman.
Coach Lester de Braga said the senior is a tremendous player
“His quality of play, his character, it’s something Greenwave baseball is all about,” de Braga said. “He’s a quality athlete and a quality person.”
In four varsity baseball seasons, Swisher has scored 75 runs — from one home run, 12 triples and 26 doubles. He has a batting average of .375 and on base percentage of .442.
Swisher has helped Greenwave baseball in three state competitions, winning once and coming close the other two. He said he hopes they make it again this year and that his senior season will end with a championship.
“I always want to end on top,” Swisher said. “Play hard every game so we can get there.”
He also attributed the team’s success to de Braga’s coaching. Swisher said the coach has an aggressive coaching style that brought them to state almost every year for six years.
De Braga said it was hard to see Swisher preparing to leave, but was happy with the time he was on the team. He said he would strive to build future players to Swisher’s level of play. The coach added Swisher has been a role model for the team and he always responds well to coaching and works hard to achieve what is asked of him.
Swisher is a multi-sport athlete who was on the wrestling team for four years — he won the 3A state 152-pound weight class title in February — and last fall played for the Greenwave football team for the first time.
After graduating, Swisher said he plans to play baseball at a junior college in Eugene, Ore. He does not have a scholarship for the 2017-18 season, but said he would be able to try for one next year. After sending a video and information, the school reached out to junior varsity coach Brett Workman; they invited Swisher for a tryout and liked what they saw in the young athlete.