Avalanche slumps in own tournament
The Tahoe Avalanche didn’t have to worry about breaking bats during weekend play in their annual Fourth of July baseball tournament – they weren’t making contact too often.
Facing the best pitching it has seen all summer, Tahoe only delivered four hits in 5-3 and 10-2 defeats to Palo Alto and Fairfield, respectively, at Todd Fields.
Sticking with his wooden bat plan until the postseason, Avalanche manager David Santee’s nine couldn’t duplicate its offensive production in a 10-7 victory over Belmont on Thursday.
Nathan Coats’ two-run homer was one of three hits the Avalanche mustered in the defeat to Palo Alto on Friday. Nate Muren’s double and Kenny Nicoll’s single accounted for the rest of Tahoe’s offense.
Greg Bruso kept the Avalanche close, scattering 10 Palo Alto hits, while striking out nine.
“It was the best baseball game we’ve played all year. We made a lot of great plays,” Santee said. “I hope the kids were proud of themselves, because I was.”
Central Cal of Fresno fanned 17 Tahoe batters, including 11 in a row, in a 10-2 triumph Saturday.
“I think it was Nolan Ryan who beat us,” deadpanned Santee.
Chad Cooke’s hit-and-run single was Tahoe’s only hit. Muren and Bruce Jacobson scored on the hit in the fifth inning.
Tournament MVP Daryl Minugh carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with a two-hit shutout as Central Cal blasted Fairfield 13-0 in five innings to claim the championship. Minugh threw two complete-game shutouts during the four-day tournament.
Tahoe, 11-10, will play host to the Seirra Sun Devils at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Todd Fields.
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