As anyone who follows the sport knows, baseball can be the cruelest game there is.
By all rights, Tony Fagan should have thrown a no-hitter for the Carson High baseball team in its 9-2 win over Fallon on Saturday in the final game of the CHS Preseason Tournament at Ron McNutt Field. But Fagan had to settle for a one-hit complete game in which he allowed one earned run.
Fagan pitched 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball and if not for a bad hop, he would have likely thrown a no-hitter. The Senators finished the tournament at 5-0 after beating Lovelock 11-2 earlier in the day.
Fagan finished with 12 strikeouts with three walks and a hit batsman in his bid for a no-hitter. Fagan threw well over 100 pitches in his effort to pitch a no-hitter.
"Everybody knew he had a no-no going," Carson coach Steve Cook said. "He said he felt good so we let him go. He wanted to finish it. He had good command of his pitches."
Fagan walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the seventh inning. (Carson played as the visiting team in both games on Saturday). But Fagan got a groundball to Bryt Lewis at shortstop that looked like it was going to be a double play.
But the ball took a bad hop. Lewis, though, made an outstanding snag and threw out the runner at first to preserve the no-hitter. "Bryt Lewis really made a great play to get the guy out at first base," Cook said.
A wild pitch moved the runner to third and the shutout was broken up on a groundball to Rob Valerius at first. Valerius kicked the ball on a difficult play and was charged with an error.
Fagan then got a fielder's choice. But Charli Haney lined a shot past the diving Lewis to break up the no-hitter. After another run scored on an error, Fagan got a strikeout to end the game.
Carson took a 1-0 lead in the first on Markus Adams' RBI sacrifice fly. In the fourth, Paul Cagle and Nick Smallman singled to help load the bases.
The Senators tried a squeeze play, but Matt Rutledge was unable to make contact on the pitch that was outsidle. But the catcher dropped the ball and Cagle was able to hook slide around his tag. Rutledge then was able to lay down a squeeze bunt, scoring Kyle Stone and Smallman scored on a throwing error on the play to make it 4-0.
Carson led 5-0 going into the seventh when Adams, Lewis and David Leid all singled in front of Cagle's RBI single. Valerius followed with a two-run single and another run scored on an error to make it 9-0.
After what he called a lackluster effort against Lovelock, Cook said he was pleased with his team's play against Fallon.
"We came out with a lot more energy," Cook said. "The kids were little bit more focused. I was happy with the way we played that game."
CARSON 11, LOVELOCK 2
The game was tied 2-2 when Carson scored two runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to break the game open. "We came out very flat," Cook said.
Kyle Mandoki allowed a home run that tied it 2-2 in the fourth. But Mandoki went on to pitch five innings for the win.
"Kyle struggled with his control," Cook said. "He settled down after (the home run). He just put it into cruise control."
In the fifth, Kyle Stone doubled and Joe Skates and Adams followed with RBI doubles to make it 4-2. In the sixth, Cagle doubled, Valerius hit an RBI double, Rutledge hit an RBI single and Stone hit an RBI single to make it 7-2.
In the seventh, Lewis singled, Leid was hit by a pitch, Valerius hit a two-run single, Drew Good walked and Stone hit a two-run double to make it 11-2.
Tyler Smith pitched two scoreless innings of relief. "He threw very well," Cook said. "I was very impressed with the way he came in."
JVS WIN TOURNAMENT
Carson's junior varsity team went 4-0 to win the JV bracket of the tournament. On Saturday, Carson beat South Tahoe 13-2.
Dustin Buttner pitched four innings for the win and David Pearse threw three scoreless innings. Tyler Hutchins went 3-for-3 and Tommy Preston added two hits.
Carson also beat Fernley 16-5, Hug 23-0 and South Tahoe 17-7. Tom Purcell and Cody Barr combined on the shutout against Hug. Among the leading hitters in the tournament were Justin Allbritten, Buttner, Preston and Brooks Hutchins.