It became clear as the game went along that this just wasn't going to be the Carson American 9-10-year-old all-stars' day.
Carson American couldn't come up with the timely hit and never seemed to receive the break it needed, either. Eventually, Reno American East broke the game open for an 11-1 win in the opener on Saturday in the Little League District Tournament at Governors Field.
Carson American will now play in a losers bracket game at 8 p.m. Monday and must win to stay alive in the tournament. Carson actually didn't play that badly against the Reno team. But what could have easily turned into a competitive game went the opposite direction due in large part to a Reno defense that turned two double plays. Carson's Jordan Anderson was also robbed of a base hit by an outstanding play in the outfield, which turned out to be another key play.
"I thought we played pretty well," Carson manager Scott Scherer said. "We just didn't get the timely hit when we needed it and we didn't get the timely break. But that's baseball."
Reno began the game by putting runners at second and third with one out against Carson's Beau Bickel. But Bickel got a pop up and a strikeout to escape the jam.
In the bottom of the first, Brett Valley reached on a bunt single and advanced to third with one out on two wild pitches. But Carson failed to score.
In the second, Reno again had runners at second and third with one out. Bickel got a groundball to shorstop Blake Plattsmier, who gunned down the runner at the plate. But Reno scored two runs on a wild pitch and single to take a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Collin Grischott singled and pinch runner Anthony Morris stole second with no outs for Carson. But Reno turned a double play to stop the threat.
Bickel looked like he had gotten out of the third on a good looking 1-2 pitch that would have ended the inning. But the pitch was ruled a ball. Bickel went on to walk the batter and a single gave Reno a 3-0 lead.
Colby Blueberg walked for Carson to begin the bottom of the third and an error gave Carson runners at second and third with no outs. Blueberg tried to score on a groundball, but was thrown out at the plate on a bang-bang play for a double play. Plattsmier did score on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.
Reno took a 4-1 lead on an RBI single in the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Grischott walked and Anderson launched a deep drive to left centerfield. But the centerfielder made an outstanding catch to rob Anderson of extra bases.
"That could have changed the game," Scherer said. "That was a great hit that our guy made and that was a great catch their kid made.
"That's great for Little League baseball. Two kids doing wonderful things."
Bickel got into trouble in the fifth and Reno went on to take a 5-1 lead and had runners at first and third with one out when Bickel was pulled for David Charles, who got the last two outs of the inning. Another run did score on a fielder's choice to make it 6-1.
In the sixth, Charles walked the first two batters, but got a groundball to Plattsmier, who threw to third for the force. Charles was then pulled and Reno went on to break open the game, scoring five runs to make it 11-1.
Valley had two hits for Carson and Bickel struck out five over 4 1/3 innings. "I thought he pitched great," Scherer said.
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