13-year-old all-stars top Tahoe’s postseason
South Tahoe Babe Ruth’s three state tournament teams posted mixed results in recent play.
The 13-year-olds went 2-2, the 14-year-olds were 0-2 and the 15-year-olds went 1-2. Nobody made it to the finals.
In 13-year-old play, Tahoe opened with a 10-4 win over Fallon. Jordan Lucas smacked two doubles and scored two while tossing a complete game with 11 strikeouts.
Tahoe next lost to North Valley, 4-1, managing just four hits off hard-throwing Jesse Weller, a pitcher who Tahoe coach Steve Weldy said intimidated his hitters. Ben Troglia had two hits and scored.
With one loss and one win in the double-elimination format, Tahoe next downed Sparks National, 5-4. Cory Harris walked, stole two bases and scored the winning run on a Phil Griffith single in the top of the seventh. Lucas allowed two runs to score and the winning run to reach second in the bottom half before getting the job done.
Tahoe finally met its tournament end in a 12-6 loss to Carson City, which scored seven times, six with no outs, in the first inning. With Carson up 9-0, Tahoe managed five runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
“It was a great experience for all of us. We got along great and it was a great atmosphere. This was my dream team,” said Weldy, whose team advanced further than any 13-year-old team in a few years. “I told them in the end that they had a great tournament and shouldn’t have any regrets. The kept their heads high.”
The 14-year-olds didn’t fare as well, losing its first two games by a combined 24-5. Tahoe was routed in the opener by Reno West, 15-2. Jake Bobman lined a two-run double, while Toby O’Brien had two hits and Matt Mora singled for the four total hits.
Needing a win to survive, Tahoe battled Carson City before losing 9-3. Down 4-0 in the fifth, Bobman smacked an RBI double. In the sixth, Tahoe closed to within one run as Peter Chirapotti and Michael Inch scored. But Carson posted five in the top of the seventh to send Tahoe home.
“The kids were pretty pumped up against Carson, but they opened the floodgates in the seventh inning. All it takes is one bad inning,” said Tahoe coach Andy Mora. “We got in the meat-grinder bracket. That’s just life and the luck of the draw.”
Tahoe 15-year-olds opened with a 6-5 triumph over Sparks National. Mike Hennessy smacked a double in two hits, including a go-ahead base knock that drove home Matt Connelly in the top of the seventh. Chris Hannum drove in two on a pair of hits, while Matt Olsen added a double in two hits. Hannum and Ryan Cullen combined on the bump.
Tahoe next lost to North Valley, 10-9. After Tahoe tied it at 9 in the bottom of the sixth when Tommy Araujo reached base on an error that allowed TJ Prevost to scamper home. But North Valley scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, helped by an error. Tahoe went three-and-out in the bottom. Joe Piccola finished with four hits and two runs. Hannum and Hennessy each drove in two.
Tahoe finally exited the tournament in 6-5 heartbreaker to South Reno. Up 4-3 going in to the top of the seventh, South Reno busted out for three runs on two hits and three Tahoe errors – its only miscues of the game. Araujo doubled and scored on a Hannum single in the bottom half, but Tahoe stranded two. Hannum had three hits while a Prevost double drove home two.
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