The Cal Ripken 10-and-under all-star team ripped through the competition last weekend to capture the state championship.
Riding the arms of Shaw Lee and Matt Davis, Fallon dropped Sun Valey, 17-10, and held on for a 2-1 win over Spanish Springs to claim the title on Sunday. The two Fallon pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts in four games.
“It was a battle,” manager Glenn Lee said of the title game. “Our little guys did battle their backsides off.”
In addition to Lee and Davis, outfielder Lito Ilumin flashed the leather with several great catches and pint-sized slugger Hunter Cooper blasted his first home run of the tournament in Sunday’s first game against Sun Valley. Fallon won the game, 17-10, and Cooper, Davis, Lee and Neil Marran each went 4-for-4.
Cooper, meanwhile, teed off on the second pitch of his at-bat in in the first inning and smoke a ball to center field.
Manager Glenn Lee said the title game was a battle, but he was proud of how his club held on for the win. Fallon scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, while Spanish Springs scratched across one run in the top of the sixth inning.
Offensively for Fallon, Marran led the team with three hits followed by Shaw Lee with two and one each from Cooper, Ilumin and Colby Malkovich.
With the win, Fallon qualified for the regional tournament in Visalia, Calif., but Glenn Lee said the team voted to skip the trip due to several players leaving for vacation.
Nevertheless, Lee said the team is happy with being crowned state champs.
“I just want to thank the parents and my assistant coaches Mike Davis and Ray Cooper,” Glenn Lee said.
Also contributing to the title were Zane Bogdanowicz, Bradley Omdahl, Nicholas Behimer, Brian Sanchez-Rehkop, Zane Johnston, Emily and Nick Marshall.
Force take second at state
The Fallon Force 12-and-under softball team placed second in the All-World Softball Association Nevada state tournament in Gardnerville last weekend.
The Force opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over Fernley and a 1-0 victory over Elko. Fallon continued its success on Saturday with a 6-0 and 13-1 wins over Winnemucca. Fallon finished pool play by defeating Elko, 4-2.
On Sunday, the Force stumbled in a 2-0 loss to Gardnerville before rebounding with a 6-5 win over Carson to advance to the title game. In the championship game, Fallon lost to Gardnerville, 11-3.
“The kids played at a high level all season,” manager Karl Buckmaster said. “The experience made them grow as athletes and people. It was an honor to be part of their lives and see them improve.”