Appeal Staff Report
Any time a team can beat the Sierra Sun Devils, it's special. And because the Carson Cardinals were able to beat the Sun Devils, they've advanced to the championship round of the Reno Knights Memorial Day Weekend Tournament.
The Sun Devils are generally recognized as one Northern Nevada's top summer baseball teams, if not the top team. But after beating the Reno Knights B team 12-5 earlier in the day on Saturday at Wooster, Carson came back to knoc off the Sun Devils 10-8.
Carson is now 3-0 in pool play in the tournament and clinched a berth in Monday's 3 p.m. championship game at Reno High. The Cardinals will finish pool play at 11 a.m. today against the Douglas Tigers at Douglas High. No matter what happens in that game, Carson will advance to Monday's finals.
Making the win more impressive was the fact that all of Carson's players are in high school while many of the Sun Devil players have finished their high school eligibility.
"They made a couple of mistakes that we capitilized on but we just played well," Carson coach Scott Albin said. "We put the ball in play and didn't strike out a whole lot. We had some really good at bats."
The Cardinals built a 10-3 lead against the Sun Devils after five innings behind Matt Rutledge on the mound. But Rutledge tired in the sixth inning and the Sun Devils were able to rally.
Rutledge gave up three straight hits that led to three runs, but got two groundouts before having to come out of the game after a walk and an error. David Charles came on and after walking the first batter he face, allowed a two-run single by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound Jordan Hadlock of Douglas that made it 10-8.
Charles then settled down to induce a comebacker to end the inning. David Perce pitched a scoreless seventh for the save, striking out one. Rutledge ended up allowing five earned runs and striking out eight over 5.2 innings.
Carson chased Sun Devils starter Corey Yoder of Dayton in the third when Paul Cagle and Cody Barr hit back-to-back doubles and Rutledge followed with an RBI single that made it 5-2. In the fifth, Barr doubled and Tyler Smith, Brett Valley and Tommy Preston all hit RBI singles as the Cardinals took a 10-3 lead.
Valley with 2-for-2 with two RBI, Cagle doubled twice, Barr was 3-for-4 with two RBI and Kyle Stone and Tyler Hutchins each added a hit. For the Sun Devils, South Tahoe's Otto Trebotich went 2-for-2 with a two-run double, Galena's Pete Lazzari went 1-for-1 with three walks and two runs and Douglas High graduate Niko Salidas added a hit. Among others who played for the Sun Devils were Western Nevada College-bound C.J. Maldonado of Reed.
Against Reno, Barr pitched six innings for the win and Perce pitched a scoreless seventh. Stone went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, Cagle was 3-for-3 with a double, triple and four RBI, Barr went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Rutledge was 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and three runs, Smith went 2-for-4 with three RBI, Charles and Cameron Mayville each had a hit and an RBI, Connor Beattie went 1-for-1 and Brooks Hutchins added an RBI.