Carson 15s fall to South Tahoe
SOUTH TAHOE – If Carson is going to win the 15-year-old state Babe Ruth title, it will have to be from the loser’s bracket.
After Carson scored five times in the first two innings, reliever Elijah Townsend stopped Carson on two hits the rest of the way to lead South Tahoe to a 13-7 upset victory in a first-round game Saturday night.
Carson returns to action today at noon against Fernley in an elimination game. Kyle Mandoki will start for the locals.
“I think this is a good group of kids,” Carson manager Trent Osmer said. “They are resilient. We have a lot of game left in us.
“I felt we could have swung the bat better. I think we will tomorrow (today). We’re getting up early and hitting the batting cages hard. We were too excited up there. We weren’t playing within ourselves. We were swinging too hard.”
In fact, the only Carson player to do much at the plate was Tony Fagan, who went 3-for-3 and drove in a run before being ejected in the top of the seventh for throwing a helmet after his failure to slide into second cost Carson an extra out. Bryt Lewis and Markus Adams collected the other two Carson hits.
Carson knocked Tahoe starter Ian Rice out of the box with five runs in the first two innings, as Fagan contributed a run-scoring single and sacrifice fly to the effort. All three of Carson’s second-inning runs were unearned.
South Tahoe struck for five runs in the second off starter-loser Joe Skates, who was relieved by Fagan in the third. The big blows were a two-run double by Chris Diana and a run-scoring single by Barrett Gibbs, his second of the day.
Osmer may have been trying to look past South Tahoe to North Valleys with his decision to start Skates over Mandoki. Last year Mandoki beat North Valleys, according to Osmer.
“Skates has more pitches,” Osmer said. “When you make pitching decisions, it’s based on a hope and a prayer. He (Skates) just got the ball up too much.”
Carson battled back with single runs in the third and fourth, tying the game at 7. Fagan drove in his third run of the game with an RBI double in the fourth.
South Tahoe answered back with three in the bottom of the inning to take a 10-7 lead thanks to a triple by Bo Hallam and singles by Rice, Diana and Gibbs.
The winners added three more in the sixth thanks to singles by Rice, Blaine Inglis and Severan Norriega plus a costly error at shortstop.
“They got some key hits,” Osmer said. “I was impressed with the middle of their lineup (Diana, Gibbs). They came up with some big hits. I thought we were in it until then (the sixth).”
Townsend, who retired nine of the last 11 hitters he faced, breezed through the seventh, allowing just a single to Fagan. Townsend fanned two and walked two and received tremendous defensive support in the last four-plus innings.