Babe Ruth All-Stars pummped for regionals
Don’t expect the South Tahoe Babe Ruth 16 All-Stars to be uptight playing in their first regional and in a spacious ballpark in Reno.
After all, South Tahoe has accomplished more than any other area youth baseball team in the 1990s and now it has a chance to do some more damage at the miniregionals starting Monday at Moana Stadium in Reno.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun because we don’t have anything to lose,” said South Tahoe pitcher/shortstop Matt Connelly.
Added South Tahoe manager Dan Hannum, “We’ve already won the Nevada state championship, so we just need to relax and enjoy the field. Hopefully the butterflies are gone, the bats get going and we get down to playing some serious ball.”
South Tahoe only needed to knock off Carson twice last week to win the Nevada state title. But it was how the club did it that got everyone’s attention. South Tahoe scored four runs in the seventh inning to win the opener 11-7 and then rallied from a six-run deficit during the final three innings of the championship to win a dramatic 18-17 contest.
“It boosted our confidence more. We knew we could come back. We just need to have confidence in ourselves,” said South Tahoe pitcher Ryan Cullen.
Their chances of advancing are 33 percent since the double-elimination miniregional in Reno contains Utah and Carson besides South Tahoe. Ironically, South Tahoe will face the same Carson team it beat twice last weekend to open the tournament at 7 p.m. Monday.
“I’d rather start out with that team than the other team from Utah. Our team has a lot of confidence that we can beat them,” Connelly said.
Cullen believes the first-round matchup is good for both teams.
“It’s more of a challenge. They want revenge, and we’re going in with the same attitude of trying to beat them.”
Hannum said the key for South Tahoe will be how many innings he can get out of his starting pitchers.
“We can hit with anybody. This whole thing will depend on our pitching. If we can get four innings out of our starters I think we’ll be in good shape,” he said.
Note: If South Tahoe wins the miniregional, it will travel to the next regional in Bakersfield, Calif., the following weekend. The club is seeking contributions to make that trip possible. If you’re interested in contributing, phone Katie Olsen at (775) 588-2603.
“It’s going to get expensive going down there what with hotel expenses and travel fees,” Hannum said. “We just want to be prepared if it happens. I’d hate to bail out of it if we didn’t have the funds to go.”
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