The Reno Continental game was the deciding factor.
The 12-year-old South Tahoe All-Star team had come incredibly far for this game. Not literally, but the boys had pieced together an undefeated season that flew in the face of probability, proving the little baseball team from South Lake Tahoe had some ballplayers.
“For a little South Tahoe team,” coach Carl Buchholz said, “we did well against those big city teams.”
Indeed the boys did, but a 6-5 loss against Reno Continental was the beginning of the end on Saturday, July 6, in Carson City, Nev.
“If we’d won the Reno Continental game it would have been a different outcome altogether because we would have used up their one dominate pitcher,” Buchholz said.
Reno’s dominate pitcher, however, was too effective for South Tahoe to produce another two runs. Kyle Dane came up with some amazing outfield saves, but ultimately the offense fell short.
The Reno Continental loss landed South Tahoe in the loser’s bracket and put a small crack in the team’s invincibility.
The boys would now face Carson Valley and try to work their way out of the loser’s bracket. It wouldn’t be easy. Carson Valley had a 12-year-old pitcher throwing wicked curve balls, one after the other.
South Tahoe got off to a good start. Jared Barnard was behind the plate for starter Nic Buchholz and Mickey Sullivan was back in action after being sidelined for a month with a broken collarbone.
The score was tied at 2-2 for most of the game. The boys had a shot, but Carson Valley popped off two late home runs to silence South Tahoe with a 4-2 win.
South Tahoe’s season came to an end during its next game, a 5-1 loss against Washoe Valley.