Carson City’s 11-12 all-star team started the District 1 Little League Championships with a bang.
Joshua Buchan ripped a three-run homer, Kahle Good hit a two-run bomb and Cole Salaices added a solo shot to lead Carson to a 11-0 mercy rule win over Truckee on Saturday night at Governors Field.
The win sends Carson into a winner’s bracket game against Reno Continental today at 4:30.
Manager Peter Zemp didn’t seem overly surprised with the way his team hit the ball.
“They have been hitting the ball (in practice),” Zemp said. “We have really jelled as a team.”
And, Carson got tremendous pitching from Ben Nelson, who walked one batter and gave up one hit (both in the first inning) in his 49-pitch performance. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.
“Ben threw a phenomenal game,” Zemp said. “He did what he needed to do.”
Carson scored six in the first off Colin Just.
Landon Truesdale opened the game with a soft fly to right. The Truckee right fielder tried to make a diving catch, but the ball got past him, allowing Truesdale to reach third with a triple. After a strikeout, Good pounded a pitch well over the fence in left-centerfield. Salaices followed with his solo shot to left to make it 3-0. Buchan reached on an error, and after another strikeout, Nelson walked. Gabe Kenny singled home a run and Carter Brown reached on an error which completed the first-inning barrage.
Carson went right to work in the second as Colby Zemp singled and Good doubled. With runners at second and third, Buchan drilled a three-run homer for a 9-0 lead. Zarek Livak relieved Just for Truckee, and he gave up doubles to Teigen Key and Kenny to make it 10-0.
Carson went scoreless in the third thanks to a couple of baserunning mistakes, but added a final run in the fourth when Buchan reached on an error and eventually scored on Nelson’s groundball out.
RENO AMERICAN 9, CARSON CITY 7
The Carson 10-11-year-old squad rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 7, but Reno scored twice in the seventh to win the game and eliminate Carson from championship contention.
Carson falls into the consolation bracket, and will play today at 5:30 p.m. Carson may also have to play without Vernon Painter, who was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Reno was four outs away from victory when its coaching staff opted to pull starter Gabe Gomez with two outs and a runner at first in the bottom of the fifth with a 7-1 lead. Gomez still had 20 pitches he could have thrown, and quite possibly could have finished the game.
Garrett Benavidez greeted reliever Dylan Gunn with a single, sending Braxton Carter to second. Diego Lopez followed with a run-scoring double to cut the deficit to 7-2.
Reno fell apart defensively in the sixth, making six errors, which enabled Carson to tie the game at 7.
Reno took the lead when Gunn was plunked by Benavidez to start the seventh. Gomez followed with a single, and both runners moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Emerson. Benavidez uncorked a wild pitch which scored both runners to make it 9-7. The side was retired without further damage.
Carson threatened in the seventh, loading the bases on singles by Jacob Pettay, Zak Houghton and Ryan Lawlor. Tim Jones tried to bunt home a run, but Pettay was forced at the plate for the second out. Benavidez slammed a liner toward third, and Ryan Neahusan made a nice grab to end the game.
CARSON CITY 17, SPARKS CENTENNIAL 7
The Carson 9-10 squad remained in the championship hunt with an easy four-inning win over Centennial. The squad returns to action today at 4:30 p.m.
Carson scored eight in the first, six in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth en route to its second consecutive win.
Brian Guthrie and Kobe Morgan each collected three hits in the winning effort, while Justin Nussbaumer and Eddie Tierney added two apiece.