Carson Valley just keeps finding its way onto the national map.
After a year in which Douglas County residents have made appearances nearly everywhere, from the Top 10 on Sportscenter (Douglas Tigers finish second in the Pop Warner Super Bowl) to the pages of Sports Illustrated (John-Henry Lambin), the Carson Valley Cougars baseball club found a way to do it again.
The Cougars 13-under squad won the USSSA Double-A World Series tournament in Johnson City, Tenn., Sunday with a 6-5 comeback victory over the Magee, Miss., Diamond Dogs in the title game.
The tournament consisted of 24 of the top-ranked teams nationwide and was structured in a three-phase elimination format.
"The kid's hard work and success in the 40-plus tournament games they played during the year qualified them for a berth in the National World Series tournament," Cougars head coach Jay McFadden said. "These boys practiced two to three times a week and played every other weekend and that's a lot of baseball and it paid off."
Carson Valley overcame an opening-day loss by winning its next two games and finishing pool play with a 2-1 record, resulting in the No. 13 seed out of 16 teams advancing to the second-round double-elimination tournament.
The Cougars shocked the No. 4 seed Oletangy Blue Warriors of Powell, Ohio, in the opening round with a 6-4 win. They then defeated the Smithfield, Va., Rattlers 7-0 to remain in the winner's bracket.
Oletangy battled back through the loser's bracket to beat the Cougars 9-0 in the semifinal game, but Carson Valley got revenge on Sunday, defeating the Warriors in the "if" game with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory.
The victory secured a Final Four spot for the Cougars in the final single-elimination championship bracket.
Carson Valley defeated the host team JR Toppers 11-1 in the opening round and then faced up against the No. 2 seed overall, previously unbeaten Magee.
After trailing 4-3, Carson Valley scored three runs in the top of the seventh and held on for the upset win.
The Cougars are a competitive baseball team sponsored and managed by John and Cindy Fencl.
The Fencls said they have made a commitment to bring a higher level of competitive youth baseball to Northern Nevada and are in the second year of the Cougar baseball program. The program currently consists of two teams, a 13-and-under squad and a 14-and-under squad. More teams are planned for the future. Both teams have been playing since the beginning of the year, traveling to California, Nebraska and finally to Tennessee.
The World Series tournament was the final one for the 13-under squad, which had players from Gardnerville, Carson City and South Reno on its roster.
Players included Taylor Bates, Adam Bailey, Beau Bickel, David Charles, Connor Dillon, Shane Fencl, Luke Hooper, Erick Howsley, Tanner Murray, Austin Nedenriep, Spike Neri, Blake Plattsmier, Johnny Pollack and Ryan Rieger. All of the athletes graduate to the 14-under level on Aug. 1. The team had the help of several other coaches, including Tim Howsley, Brett Bates, Dave Bickle, Tony Charles, Ken Rieger and Mike Dillon.
The 14-and-under team is currently playing in the USSA World Series in Kingsport, Tenn.
For more information on Cougar baseball and its upcoming events, visit www.cvcougars.com.