It had Carson versus Douglas written all over it. The two teams may have had on different uniforms and mascots from the high school season, but the tension in the air swirled as fierce as the wind blew Friday night at Governor's Field.
As it turned out, the Carson Cardinals (2-0) used two big scoring innings en route to a 7-5 win over the Carson Valley Cobras (0-1) at the United States Amateur Baseball Association (USABA) World Series.
"It's been like this ever since I've been down here," said Cobras coach Steve O'Brien, who plays college baseball at Lubbock Christian University. "I'll straight up tell you, I don't like them."
Cardinals coach Blaine Eaton thought the Cobras players turned it into a heated game.
"I didn't really expect it to be this much of a rivalry, but the Carson Valley team turned it into that with their yelling from the dugout," Eaton said.
But in the end, it all came down to baseball.
"I like the rivalry but I also like to win," Eaton said.
The Cardinals got things started in the first after Carl Winter hit a single to score Brandon Lee. Then Nick Gitthens hit a two-run single that scored Winter and AJ James to make the score 3-0.
In the second, they increased their lead to 6-0 when Ben Moore, with a little help from the wind, hit a three-run homer.
In the sixth, the Cobras made a comeback after Austin Graham's monster two-run home run that sailed over the center field wall.
The Cardinals nearly fell apart later in the inning and the Cobras took full advantage. Johnny Schermerhorn hit a run-scoring single and the Cobras scored another run after shortstop Winter's throwing error. Then pitcher Tony Faulkner threw a wild pitch that scored Schermerhorn from third and brought them within 7-5.
But in the seventh, Eaton inserted relief pitcher Steve Weyrick, who shut down the Cobras to end the game.
"These games are real important for confidence building," said Eaton, who mentioned that his team finished their season barely above .500. "But we've been on a winning steak lately and things are going real well."
Earlier in the day, the Cardinals won their first game 3-2 against West Oahu, Hawaii, who finished second in last year's tournament that was held in Logan, Utah.
Down 1-0, the Cardinals battled back in the second inning to tie the game. They then added two more runs in the fifth after Nick Gitthens hit a two-run single that scored Faulkner and Sean Hornback for a 3-1 lead.
West Oahu got a run back in the bottom of the seventh but left the bases loaded. Cardinals pitcher Chris Padgett picked up the win after allowing only four hits.
The Cardinals next game is today against the Pierce County Saints at 9:30 a.m.
The Cobras play the Saints in the first game of a doubleheader today at 12:00 p.m.