Centennial Little League scored six runs in its final two at-bats to knock off Carson City, 9-2, in the Junior District 1 all-star opener Tuesday night at Governors Field.
The loss sends Carson into the loser’s bracket of the three-team event. Centennial faces Reno American tonight at 7:30. The loser of that game faces Carson at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Carson took the lead in the first when it scored a run off Centennial’s Anthony Messenger, who allowed five hits and threw 89 pitches in six-plus innings.
Jesse Lopez led off the game with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when the third baseman failed to stop the catcher’s throw.
The locals had a chance to pad their lead in the second, loading the bases with singles by Wesley Redmond and Lopez plus an error. Messenger retired Stuart McElhaney on an infield roller to end the threat.
Centennial tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the second.
Jeremiah Harmon reached second when McElhaney dropped a flyball. Harmon stole third base and scored on a single by No. 9 hitter Nico Howe, who dropped a liner in front of Kellen McDermott in right field.
Carson broke the tie in the fourth when Adam Santos walked, stole second and scored on a single by McDermott. Lopez followed with a groundball to short. The Centennial shortstop forced McDermott at second, but threw wildly to first, allowing Lopez to reach second. Messenger retired McElhaney on a fly to center for the third out.
That’s when the game started to get away from Carson, as Centennial scored eight runs in its last three at-bats.
The winners took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a run-scoring single by Messenger and Chris Samir’s infield out.
In the fifth, Centennial scored three times on three hits and three Carson errors. The locals made six errors in the game. Mickey Coyne and Jeremiah Harmon had run-scoring hits in the inning, and Harmon caught Carson napping and stole home for the third run.
Centennial scored three more in the sixth on a walk, hit batsman, a run-scoring single by Lincoln Turner, a run-scoring groundball by Jordan Santos and a wild pitch.
Carson’s offense was nowhere to be found in the final three innings,going hitless against Messenger and Jared Paulding, who entered the game in the seventh with one on and no outs. He struck out Lopez and then got McElhaney to ground into a game-ending double play.
Lopez finished with two of Carson’s five hits.