Cardinals fall to Sun Devils
RENO – Not much separated the Carson Cardinals and the Sierra Sun Devils at the Joe DiMaggio State Baseball Tournament.
But what little difference there was led to a 5-2 win for the Sun Devils on Saturday at Wooster. The Sun Devils won their third straight game in the tournament to advance to today’s championship round which will begin at 3:30 p.m.
The Cardinals, which had won their first two games in the event, must win at 1 p.m. today in an elimination game for the right to play the Sun Devils in the championship round. If the Cardinals win that game, they then must beat the Sun Devils twice for the title.
Jason Alcasas gave the Cardinals what they needed, pitching a complete game while striking out nine. But Alcasas couldn’t overcome the complete game effort of Dustin Rosness, who struck out 12 while scattering six hits. Carson High graduate Willie Bowman also sparked the Sun Devils as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI single, an RBI triple and a run scored.
The Cardinals were also hurt by a key defensive breakdown, had two runners picked off and couldn’t take advantage of two golden scoring chances.
“That was a pretty good game,” Cardinal coach Steve Cook said. “I’m so proud of the kids. We had chances. We made too many mistakes. You can’t do that against the Sun Devils.”
Cook said his team is now focused on reaching the championship round. “Hopefully it will be a wakeup call for our kids,” he said. “We definitely want to be back here playing these guys again.”
Galena’s Brian Evans walked, stole second and scored on Bowman’s single to make it 1-0 in the first inning. In the third, Evans singled and scored on Bowman’s triple. Bowman scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Carson came back in the bottom of the third when Alex Tanchek was hit by a pitch and Sean Costella singled. Royal Good walked to load the bases and Jeff Hurzel was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Costella scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2.
Cameron Leck was hit by a pitch to reload the bases with one out, but the Cardinals failed to score any more runs.
An infield single and Evans’ bunt single gave the Sun Devils runners at second and third with no outs. A defensive breakdown when the Cardinals failed to cover third and then second on Evans’ bunt allowed the Sun Devils to have runners at second and third. A two-run single then gave the Sun Devils a 5-2 lead.
In the seventh, Murph Gardner doubled and Tanchek singled to give the Cardinals runners at first and third with no outs, but Carson failed to score.
Alcasas was able to strike out Bowman in his last two at bats. “I told him we’re even,” said Bowman, who will play at UNLV. “I foul tipped two fastballs to strike out. That’s pretty frustrating. He’s definitely a great pitcher and if he’s on he’s very tough to hit.”
Bowman said he doesn’t enjoy playing against his friends and former teammates. “I hate playing the Cardinals because you’re going against your friends,” he said. “You’re hoping your friends strike out and it kind of stinks when you do that. I don’t like that at all.”
Costella went 2-for-2 and Mike Handley and Leck each added a hit for Carson. Evans went 2-for-2 for the Sun Devils.
Cook couldn’t say enough about Alcasas. “I thought Jason Alcasas pitched his butt off,” he said. “He’s been our guy all year.
“He earned the right to pitch this game. He gave us a chance to win. That’s all you can ask.”
CARSON 13S 10, SPARKS 3
Tyler Simms pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits, striking out nine and walking just one as the Carson 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars rolled in their opener of the state tournament. Carson will play at 4 p.m. today at Reno’s Governor’s Bowl. “Tyler Simms pitched a gem of a ball game,” Carson manager Jon Grant said.
Eric Murphy went 1-for-2 with two walks, Matt Rutledge had an RBI double, Matt Parmenter went 1-for-1, Jonathon Singer went 1-for-1 with an RBI and Tyler Smith added a hit for Carson, which took advantage of nine walks and stole seven bases.
“We showed great patience up at the plate,” Grant said. “We were very aggressive on the base paths.”
Contact Charles Whisnand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214.