Carson 15s stay alive
SOUTH TAHOE – After squeezing out a tough win on Monday, Carson’s 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team left little doubt of the outcome on Tuesday.
Carson exploded for eight first-inning runs en route to a 15-5 victory over North Valleys in a loser’s bracket game at the state tournament at Todd Field.
The game was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run rule.
Carson, which has won three straight since an opening-day loss, returns to action tonight at 6 against the loser of last night’s South Tahoe-South Reno game. Both teams entered the game undefeated.
“I’m excited; pleasantly pleased,” Carson manager Trent Osmer said. “The kids did this last year except we didn’t get into the loser’s bracket as quickly. We won our first two or three games and then hit a rough spot.
“Our defense has been solid. We made one error today, and I don’t think we made an error yesterday. The kids are showing their resiliency. No matter what they pick each other up.”
Osmer has been especially pleased with the progress of T.J. Hein, who doubled and singled and reached base all four times.
“He’s been hitting the heck out of the ball,” Osmer said. “I’ve been moving him up one spot a day. He started out eighth and now he’s fifth.”
After John Hazeltine walked, hot-hitting Tony Fagan slammed a two-run homer. David Leid singled and moved to second on a throwing error. He scored on Hein’s double to make it 3-0. Carson went on to score five more runs thanks to singles by Markus Adams, Joe Skates and Bryt Lewis plus a triple by Hazeltine. All told, Carson sent 12 batters to the plate.
North Valleys scored a run in the top of the second off Kyle Mandoki, who went the distance. He fanned four and struck out one.
Carson answered back with three more runs in the second for an 11-1 lead.
Leid walked, Hein was plunked by a pitch and Mandoki walked to load the bases. Christian Volker walked, forcing home Leid. Skates doubled to deep right-center field driving in Hein and Mandoki. Volker was thrown out at home on the play. Skates moved to third on the throw home, but he was thrown out at home when Adams tried to squeeze him home. Hazeltine flied out to end the inning.
North Valleys cut the lead to 11-3 on a run-scoring triple by Sean Smith and a run-scoring single by Justin Nickles in the top of the third.
Fagan, who has been Carson’s best run-producer in the tournament, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 12-3 in the last of the third.
North Valleys tacked on two more runs in the fifth, but Carson ended the game with three hits, a walk and a North Valleys wild pitch.
NOTES: Osmer said that Skates will start today’s game. If Carson wins today, it will have to win two games on Thursday to win the title … Skates used a wood bat and finished with a single and triple en route to a 2-for-4 effort … Osmer also praised the defensive work of Leid, who has done a solid job of handling the pitchers.