All-star performance: South Tahoe manufactures 10-run win over Fallon
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – South Tahoe served notice in the first inning Saturday that it was going to put pressure on Fallon’s infielders to make plays.
Fallon didn’t make enough as South Tahoe’s small-ball approach carved out a 12-2 five-inning victory in the opening round of the Babe Ruth 13-15 All-Stars state-qualifying tournament at Todd Fields.
“We do have some big boppers on the team, but one thing that we have worked on the last couple weeks is the small-ball stuff – moving runners over, making the infield move around and taking the next base when we can,” said South Tahoe coach Kevin Higgins.
South Tahoe advanced to play Hawthorne at 6 p.m. Saturday night. The winner of that game was slotted to play at 3 p.m. Sunday for a chance to qualify for next week’s state tournament.
Two of the six teams in the tournament field will make the state tournament.
South Tahoe jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Bobby Oakes walked and Cody Higgins dropped a bunt down the third-base line that the pitcher threw away into right field, allowing Oakes to score. Higgins, who went to third on the error, came home on Andrew Noll’s groundball to short.
“Pretty early we noticed that they weren’t making plays when we put the ball in play,” Cody Higgins said. “The easiest way to do that is a bunt for us because we practice that a lot.”
The early lead stood up as South Tahoe starting pitcher Tyler Sharp lived up to his name, allowing two hits and one earned run in four innings. Sharp struck out six and picked off a runner at first base.
“I was looking to execute my curveball most of the time, but then it stopped working, so then we kept trusting the fastball,” Sharp said.
Joey Wightman scored South Tahoe’s third run in the second frame, coming home on Higgins’ sacrifice fly. Fallon prevented another run from scoring when Ty Sprock was tagged out at home plate by Dakota Schelling.
Fallon got two runs back in the third inning when The Cody hit the left-field line with a soft flair. Cody’s double plated Wyatt Tuni and Beau Marshall.
South Tahoe extended its lead to 7-2 in its half of third as Cory Plummer and Sprock socked RBI hits, and Joey Anderson hit his first of two RBI groundouts. The fourth run of the inning scored when Hunter Morgan’s groundball went under the shortstop’s glove, allowing Plummer to score.
Four more South Tahoe runs scored in the fourth on just one hit. Morgan’s deep drive to the left-field corner was South Tahoe’s lone hit as Higgins, Noll, Sharp and John Cefalu crossed home plate, taking advantage of errors, wild pitches and passed balls.
Higgins scored the game’s final run in the fifth, drawing a walk, stealing second base and taking third on a balk. Sharp then walked and purposely got caught in a rundown between first and second bases, giving Higgins enough time to score before the third out was recorded.
The game was then stopped by the 10-run scoring difference rule.
Higgins scored three times and Cefalu and Noll each touched home plate twice. Higgins fanned two of the three batters he faced in relief of Sharp.
Fallon used three pitchers: Morgan Dirickson, Tuni and Cody.
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