Holmes hits game-winning single in the seventh to lift Carson over Apache Blue
The Carson Cardinals had who they wanted at home plate with the game on the line, with a runner on second and with the game tied 6-6.
But when Apache Blue saw Carl Winter, who had already hit two home runs in the game, walk up to home plate, they wanted nothing to do with him.
Neil Holmes was delighted.
“I knew they would walk our No. 3 hitter,” coach Steve Cook said. “I didn’t think they wanted to pitch to Carl. That put the pressure on our No. 4 hitter (Holmes). But Neil told me “if they walk Carl, I’ll end it for you coach.'”
Holmes kept his word with an RBI single that scored Andrew James as Carson stayed alive in the USABA World Series with a 7-6 win on Tuesday at Governors Field.
The Cardinals will play Edmonton tonight at 7 in an elimination game. Carson would’ve had to play the Oakland Oaks earlier today in a losers bracket game, but the Oaks pulled out of the tournament after an ugly dispute in the parking lot following their 6-5 over Carson on Monday.
All that means is Carson is now only two wins away from the USABA Championship game. And while not shocked his team came back from a four-run deficit in the final two innings, Cook wouldn’t mind less tense games the rest of the way.
“I shouldn’t say I’m surprised because we’ve been doing it all year,” Cook said. “We got a ton of heart and are pretty resilient. But these last two have been back-to-back games that were nail biters. I’ll probably have an ulcer by the end of this thing.”
That would give two Carson coaches with ulcers because in the bottom of the fifth in yesterday’s game, manager Blaine Eaton may have already developed one.
With Ryan Henry pinch running for Murph Glover at second and Aaron Henry at first with one out, Jon Teeter grounded out to third. Ryan Henry’s out of the baseline slide into the third tripped up the third baseman and his throw to first never materialized. Ryan Henry was called for runner’s interference, which ended the inning, but Eaton didn’t believe there was even a play at first because Teeter would’ve beaten the throw. He told the umpire as much–and probably more, then was kicked out.
“I’m never one to say that getting a coach tossed is a good thing but it really lit a fire under us when Blaine (Eaton) was thrown out,” Cook said.
Down 6-2 in the sixth inning, Winter hit a two-run homer and Owen Brolsma hit an RBI double later on to make it 6-5. Josh Camper, which only allowed one run after coming into the game in the fifth for starter Todd Hendrix, shut down Apache Blue in the seventh, giving his team one last chance.
They made the most of it as James’ fourth hit of the tournament was a game-tying double that scored Teeter. Winter and Holmes did the rest.
Oakland’s poor sportsmanship and Eaton’s ejection hasn’t been the only drama at Governors Field. After the Solano Blue Jays lost to Langley 1-0 in a winners bracket game on Tuesday, their coaches left Carson City because they were upset at the handling of a controversial play. But the Solano players still wanted to play, so they will today against Apache Red at 1 p.m. losers bracket game.
Cook said he’ll start Manogue star Jim McCarthy against Edmonton.
APACHE RED 15, RIDGECREST 8
Nick Littrell went 3-for-3 with two doubles as did Justin Cone, who also hit a three-run homer in the high-scoring game. Ridgecrest led 7-6 after the first inning and Apache Red then led 9-8 after the second before the Desert Dawgs cooled off.
Cody Harkham came in and pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to get the win as Apache Red scored six runs in the sixth to put the game away.
Ridgecrest was led by Chris Hansen, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer.
EDMONTON 23, DOUGLAS 8
Edmonton scored six runs in the first and 13 in the fourth in the easy win in five innings.
All nine Edmonton players scored at least once and seven of them scored multiple times. Dustin Granya went 3-for-3 to lead a slew of players with several hits.
LANGLEY 1, SOLANO 0
Matt Nulutka pitched a one hitter and struck out 11 batters in the complete game shutout. In the fourth, the only run of the game was scored after Nulutka reached on an error, then scored after Jon Hesketh’s RBI single.
Today’s Tournament Schedule
Solano vs. Apache Red, 1 p.m., Field #6
Triple Play vs. Langley, 4 p.m., Field #1
Carson vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m., Field #1
Triple Play/Langley loser vs. Solano/Apache Red winner, 7 p.m., Field 6