Cardinals win tournament opener |

Cardinals win tournament opener


SPARKS – Despite missing two starters, the Carson Cardinals opened the Joe DiMaggio State Tournament in impressive fashion.

Shortstop Kevin Schlange was out of town attending a funeral and Tony Texeira is too old to play in the 18-and-under event. Their replacements – Jason Alcasas and Tony Fagan – filled in just fine, however.

Fagan and Alcasas collected two hits and two RBI apiece, and Danny Rotter pitched a complete-game seven hitter to lead the Cardinals to a 6-4 win over the Northwest Royals Thursday at Spanish Springs High School.

The Cardinals continue play in the double-elimination tournament today at 3 at Reed High School in a winner’s bracket game.

“I thought we played pretty well being short squadded,” Carson coach Steve Cook said. “Tony has been catching now and then this summer, and Jason did a real good job for us at short.

“I didn’t think it would be a problem because of Danny. He’s got a lot of experience. We had quite a few hits (11 hits), but we just didn’t get a lot of runs out of there.”

Rotter fanned seven and walked four, and pitched a solid game except for the fourth inning when Northwest tied the game at 3-all with three runs.

“I thought Danny threw a great game,” Cook said. “He was in trouble a couple of times. He didn’t want to come out.”

“No way,” said Rotter, who allowed only a run and two hits the last three innings. “I know if we changed it up, it might be a little sketchy. I talked to Tony (between innings), and we started mixing up pitches a little bit. That one inning we had a couple of missed plays and a couple of times I left the ball up (in the zone). I just had the one bad inning.”

After Northwest tied the game, Carson struck for two runs in the fifth off starter Tyler Fradd to take a 5-3 lead.

Cameron Leck led off the inning with a line-drive homer over the fence in right-center field. After one out, Mike Handley singled and scored on Fagan’s double. Fradd retired the next two hitters to end the threat.

Carson tacked on another run in the sixth when Alcasas hit a towering pop-up near third which fell untouched. Jeff Hurzel, who had beat out a slow roller to the infield, scored from second on the play. Alcasas tried to reach second on the play, but was thrown out.

Rotter retired the first two batters in the seventh, but Frank Phillips blooped a single to right and scored on Chris Champ’s hard-hit double to right-center field. Rotter retired the next hitter to end the game.

Leck, Royal Good, Fagan and Alcasas all had two hits apiece. Good hit the ball especially hard, blasting a run-scoring double and a triple.

Contact Darrell Moody at or 881-1281.