All-Stars upset Reno National
It was a game South Tahoe had to have and few observers gave the mountain team a chance.
South Tahoe’s 11-12 All-Stars shocked Reno National 8-5 on Wednesday night to stay in contention for the upcoming elimination round at the district tournament at Swope Park in Reno.
Max DeLallo pitched a complete-game six-hitter and hit a two-run single during a game-turning six-run uprising. Notanee Vasquez also came up big with a pair of RBI doubles.
“The thing it shows to me is our aggressiveness … we were standing in there and going for the ball,” said South Tahoe skipper Andy Braun. “I think we were just a little overwhelmed by the whole situation coming in, but I think we’re ready now.”
South Tahoe (1-2) will have to be. It must win its final pool game at 5:30 p.m. Friday to have a chance to qualify for the knockout round that begins Sunday.
DeLallo, who struck out 11, kept power-hitting phenom Chuck Gallagher in check until the final frame.
DeLallo walked the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder twice, including once intentionally, and struck him out in the fourth. But in the sixth inning, South Tahoe had the luxury of pitching to Gallagher with an 8-4 lead and nobody on base.
Gallagher responded with a stunning feat, adding to youngster’s lore in 2004. The homer bounced off the top of Swope Middle School, a shot that Braun estimated traveled 325 feet.
“Max threw him some fastballs and he hit the ball farther than I’ve ever seen any Little Leaguer hit one,” Braun said.
Gallagher reportedly has hit 22 homers in 21 games.
During South Tahoe’s loss to Carson Valley on Sunday, a stream of spectators kept filing over to the adjacent field every time Gallagher came to the plate.
South Tahoe trailed 2-1 entering the last half of third inning but broke through with the big rally that has been missing in previous games.
Ricky Braun and Jamie Yelles unselfishly started the comeback by being hit by pitches. Then the bats came alive. Otto Trebotich singled, DeLallo’s connected for a two-run single, Vasquez doubled in DeLallo, Korey Mazzoni scored on an error and T.J. Kolesnik capped the rally with a “Little League home run.” Kolesnik singled and then came all the way around to score on a pair of overthrows.
With a 7-2 lead in hand, South Tahoe wasn’t about to be denied.
“Once we got the lead it was a different team and I hope it carries over to the next game,” Braun said.
Vasquez doubled in Yelles to conclude South Tahoe’s scoring. Vasquez, Trebotich and DeLallo each had two hits, while Kolesnik and Gavin Chandler collected one. Catchers Ricky Braun and Garrett Tinlin kept Reno baserunners in check most of the evening.