Avalanche places third in Connie Mack state tournament
If not for their wild elimination game win over the Reno Aces, the Tahoe Avalanche may have been disappointed with their third-place showing in the Connie Mack State Baseball Tournament last weekend in Mammoth Lakes.
Nate Muren’s one-out single drove home Bruce Jacobson with the deciding run as Tahoe eliminated the Aces 13-12.
“It was by far the most exciting and intense game I’ve ever coached. Neither side quit, and our kids showed a lot of heart,” said Avalanche manager David Santee.
The Aces seemed to have the game in hand in the first inning after reaching Matt Tretton for five runs. However, Tahoe struck back for three runs in the first, one in the second and four in the third to take an 8-7 lead. The back-and-forth game saw the Aces tie the score at 8 in the fourth, then Tahoe regain a 10-8 lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Reno again knotted the score at 10 in its half of the sixth, but then Tahoe retook the lead 12-10 in the bottom of the inning.
The Aces put forth one last fight by scoring two runs in their last at-bat to make Tahoe to hit in the seventh. Thrace Ramsey’s laser throw from the outfield to the mitt of catcher Carson Triggs on the fly almost ended the game, but a controversial call allowed the tying run to score.
Unbothered, Tahoe strung together two walks, a botched sacrifice bunt and Muren’s single to win it.
There were many hitting stars for Tahoe, including Jeff Jensen, 3 for 4 with a homer, triple and four RBIs; Muren and Nathan Coats, 2 for 4 with a double; Jacobson, 2 for 3; Kenny Nicole, 2 for 4; and Tretton, 2 for 4 with a triple.
The momentum from that huge win didn’t last long. Tahoe was destroyed and eliminated by tournament finalist Sierra Sun Devils 19-1 the next day. Sierra raked three Tahoe pitchers for 19 hits. Triggs pitched well, holding Sierra to three runs through four innings, but the Sun Devils broke it open with a six-run fifth.
Tahoe opened the seven-team tournament with a 6-3 eight-inning win over Fallon. In the eighth, Jacobson stroked a double and was bunted to third. He scored on Coats’ double. Muren’s RBI single and Chad Cooke’s homer provided insurance.
Tahoe’s pitching was overpowering as Justin Ray fanned 12 batters in seven innings. Nicole struck out two in his one inning of work.
Tretton, Jacobson and Ramsey homered against the Sparks Tribe, but Tahoe lost 14-4.
Facing elimination, the Avalanche responded with an 11-6 victory over the Nevada Yankees. Triggs pounded three hits, scored two runs and knocked in two; and Austin Merritt, who was hot throughout the tournament, roped two triples and a single and scored three runs.
Tahoe, which never trailed, slapped 13 hits, including a two-run homer by Ramsey and two hits apiece for Coats and Jensen.
Justin Connolly gave the Yankees little hope of rallying by holding them to five hits in six innings, and Nicole finished up.
Merritt was 10 for 15 in the five games.
Tahoe will compete in the Nevada Senior Babe Ruth Tournament Thursday through Sunday at Douglas High in Minden. The Avalanche opens the double-elimination tournament with Douglas at 1 p.m. Thursday.
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