A big first inning doomed the Fallon 14-and-under all-star baseball team to begin the Babe Ruth state tournament on Thursday.
Although the team lost 16-3 to the host, South Reno, Fallon came back with more offense in the consolation game. South Reno, which lost to Sparks on Friday, enforced the mercy rule again against Fallon, 15-5, on Saturday, ending Fallon’s run in the state tournament.
“They were all upbeat and positive throughout the whole game,” Fallon coach Kenny Fasbro said about the opener. “It was just, honestly, that we had few mental lapses. That’s what cost us in both games. Trying to get out of an early hole in the first game and a few errors led to five, six runs and it took us out of the (second) game. We really thought we could outplay them. It just wasn’t our day.”
South Reno jumped on Fallon for eight runs in the first inning off southpaw Nate Hutchings. Hutchings pitched 2 1/3 innings and Cody Sponslor came in relief for 1 2/3.
Fallon, though, rebounded with two runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth. Chance Wood scored on Russell Vershum’s RBI double in the fourth. Vershum then scored on a throwing error after stealing third.
In the second meeting, Fallon didn’t waste any time and scored one in the first inning.
Wood scored the opening run but South Reno came back and had a 7-4 lead before errors mounted against Fallon. Down 7-4, Fallon surrendered six runs in the fifth inning.
Defensively, Fasbro said Vershum, who caught for the first time in threeyears, stood out in the second game, throwing out four runners in five attempts.
“That was a very big positive for our team and kept us in it for the most part,” he said. “They held their runners and stopped stealing bases.”
Despite the losses, Fasbro felt his team did well as Fallon field a 50/50 mix of 13- and 14-year-olds.
“The boys played hard. They represented Fallon real strong,” Fasbro said.
Fallon 13-15 team opens Thursday
Fallon’s other Babe Ruth all-star team, the 13-15 club, begins the state tournament at South Tahoe Middle School on Thursday.
The tournament field dropped from five teams to four last week after Reno West bowed out.
Fallon, which is coached by ex-Greenwave and college stars Teryn Smith and Danny Bright, opens with Sun Valley at 6:30 p.m. after South Tahoe entertains Sparks. The two winners and two losers will meet on Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Saturday will feature three games, beginning at noon, as it narrows the field down to the two finalists.
The championship is at noon on Sunday. If necessary, a second game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to decide the championship.