The only Fallon all-star team representing the Silver State in the Cal Ripken regionals will try to do what no Nevada team has been able to: advance to the World Series.
After crushing the competition in the state tournament last month, Fallon’s 12-and-under baseball squad leaves this weekend for Visalia, Calif., to compete in the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament. Teams from the neighboring states of California, Utah and Arizona, as well as Hawaii, will battle in the round-robin/single-elimination tournament that sends the winner to the World Series next month in Aberdeen, Md.
“We understand that we will be playing the very best teams in the region,” Fallon coach James Richardson said. “I have total confidence in our team and I expect we will be very competitive.”
Pool play begins on Monday as Fallon takes on Woodland, (Northern No. 2 seed) Calif., in the Billy Ripken pool at 5 p.m. on the East Field of Riverway Sportspark. Fallon faces Hawaii at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the West Field before taking on the Central California champ on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on the West Field. Fallon has Thursday off before facing Riverton, (northern) Utah, on Friday at 5 p.m. at the West Field.
Visalia, Central California’s No. 2 team, Laguna, (Northern No. 1) Calif., Somerton, Ariz., and Heartwell, (Southern) Calif., make up the Cal Ripken Pool. Only the top two teams from each pool advance to the single-elimination bracket.
The single-elimination round begins on Saturday at 5 p.m. when the Cal Ripken No. 2 seed faces the Billy Ripken No. 1 seed on Field 3. The Cal Ripken No. 1 seed faces the Billy Ripken No. 2 seed on Field 1. The winners meet in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Field 1.
Fundraising for the weeklong trip to California went well for Fallon as it was able to cover all costs. The team sold water at the Fourth of July parade, dried and vacuumed cars twice at American Car Wash and held a car wash of its own at Nevada State Bank. Fallon also had a bake sale at Jerry’s Restaurant.
Richardson said the city of Fallon pitched in with gifts representing the Fallon community to exchange with other teams in the tournament.
“The community has been outstanding with the financial support of our team,” Richardson said. “Our parents have gone above and beyond in the fundraising effort. Fallon is a great community that consistently supports our local teams.”
The last time Fallon had its best chance of making noise in the regional came 10 years ago when Fallon hosted the tournament. The team, compromised mostly of travel-ball kids from Tim Oney’s Mustangs, who qualified for the USSSA World Series, and nearly pulled off a win in the consolation bracket that would have put Fallon one win away from the championship game.
Like that all-star group, this year’s squad played together before the all-star season, traveling as the Hornets to tournaments within the region, going undefeated in all three. Including all-stars, Richardson’s club hasn’t lost a game this year as the state championship win over Silver State bumped the win streak to 25 games.
Fallon relied on the long ball in the state tournament, belting 12 home runs in five games.
Edgar Alvarado blasted five homers over the four-day span while Dylan Wallace smacked three. Tommy McCormick, Brock Richardson, Nate Galushia and Hunter each had one.