RENO - Oh so close.
Carson American's 11-year-old all-star squad dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to Reno American West in the first round of District 1 pool play at the South Valley Sports Complex Tuesday night.
Carson left the tying and winning runs at second and third in its last at-bat.
"We just fell a bit short," said Jim Blueberg Jr., Carson American manager. "By the time this is over we'll be right in the middle of things."
Reno American West entered the last of the sixth with a 4-2 lead, but Carson American made the eventual winners really sweat.
After Austin Law forced Adam Witt at second for the second out of the inning, Zach Berg singled home Law to make it 4-3. Mark McCraw followed with a deep drive to center. Berg steamed around third, but Blueberg held him up. The throw bounced off the catcher's glove, but Berg had already started going back to third. Jeff Davies fouled out to end the game.
"It looked like the throw was going to hit the catcher right in the chest, and then he missed it," Blueberg said. "I tried to turn him around, but he's a big boy, and we couldn't do it. We were one break away (from winning)."
Reno did some early damage, scoring twice in the first on two walks, a single and a fielder's choice against starter Adam Witt, who worked the first three innings.
Carson scored a run in the first when Colby Blueberg singled and eventually scored on two passed balls. Law also had a double in the inning, but was stranded at second base.
Reno tacked on an unearned run in the second for a 3-1 lead, and that's the way it stayed until the last of the fourth when Law hit his second double of the game, and special pinch-runner Conner Beattie scored on a wild pitch.
Another unearned run in the sixth gave Reno a two-run bulge, setting the stage for Carson's comeback which fell a run short.
McCraw and Law collected two hits each for Carson, and Blueberg and Berg added one apiece.
Carson American plays South Tahoe tonight at 5:30 with Colby Blueberg expected to get the starting call on the mound.
RENO CONTINENTAL 12, CARSON NATIONAL 0
Chad McSkining slugged two homers and drove in five runs to lead the Reno squad to an easy pool-play win over the Nationals.
McSkining slugged a three-run homer in the first to give Continental a 3-0 lead, and followed with a two-run bomb in the third to make it 5-0. He came a few feet short of a third homer in the fifth.
"The kid had a stroke," Carson National manager Kevin Hollaway said.
While Reno Continental scored in four of its six at-bats, Carson had trouble getting baserunners period.
The locals managed just four hits - two by Brent Moyle - off three Continental hurlers. Mitch Parra and Ricky Mata had a hit apiece.
"We didn't get it going offensively," Hollaway said. "Some of our big hitters didn't come through like I thought they would."
Carson National plays Carson Valley tonight at 8.
CARSON VALLEY 4, RENO AMERICAN EAST 3
Carson Valley scored three times in the fifth to overcome a 3-1 deficit and win its opening pool game.
Shane Connelly's single drove in Scott Rudnick with the game-winning run. It was Connelly's only hit of the game, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Chris Azevedo doubled and tripled, and Rudnick added a single and double.
Cody Lommori struck out seven in three innings of mound work for Carson Valley.