Machine-like performance by South Tahoe All-Stars
CARSON CITY — No-hit pitching by Chase Harpole, flawless fielding behind him and nine hits are becoming typical baseball numbers for the South Tahoe 9-10 All-Stars.
The complete performance was more than Reno Continental could handle Thursday night as South Tahoe blasted out a 15-0 four-inning district tournament victory at Governor’s Field.
South Tahoe has now outscored its three opponents 33-3 and is one of only two unbeaten clubs remaining in the double-elimination tournament.
“We had no idea that we’d make it this far,” said South Tahoe catcher Matt Stuck, who knocked in three runs with a pair of singles. “We’re doing it for all the other all-stars.”
South Tahoe meets the other unbeaten — Washoe — at 7 p.m. Saturday on Field II. The winner advances to the championship game Monday night.
Two Reno Continental hitters reached base against Harpole as South Tahoe made nine defensive plays without an error. Harpole walked two and struck out three.
“All my teammates backed me up on all the stuff,” Harpole said.
Especially Cooper Stanley, who came off the bench to make a diving catch on Stephen Klippenstein’s liner leading off the bottom of the fourth inning.
“I thank him for that. He saved my no-hitter,” Harpole said.
Stuck said Reno Continental hitters didn’t know what to expect from Harpole.
“He was pitching a lot of fastballs and then he’d pitch really slow. He had a really good changeup,” Stuck said.
South Tahoe scored the necessary runs in the first frame. Leadoff hitter Otto Trebotich reached on an error and scored on Harpole’s double. Harpole came home on Stuck’s single to make it 2-0.
Stuck’s two-run single highlighted a five-run second inning as South Tahoe built a 7-0 lead. Three errors, stolen bases by Trebotich and Matthew Blank and two wild pitches kept South Tahoe’s baserunners moving.
“We are going to capitalize on any mistake,” said South Tahoe manager Steve Weldy.
“I think the speed these guys have creates those mistakes,” said South Tahoe coach Michael Blank.
Trebotich scored on a wild pitch and Korey Mazzoni crossed home plate on a passed ball as South Tahoe moved ahead 9-0 in the third. Both players reached base on singles.
After both teams took a mandatory 10-minute hydration break in their shady dugouts after three innings, South Tahoe finished off Reno Continental in the fourth.
With Klippenstein relieving starting pitcher Spencer Sconza, Mazzoni cracked a two-run single and Harpole added an RBI infield hit as South Tahoe made it 15-0.
Inspired by Stanley’s defensive gem, Harpole retired Reno Continental in order in the fourth to bring the 10-run rule into play.
“For (Cooper) to come off the bench and make a catch like that, it was a great play,” Weldy said.
Next up for South Tahoe is Washoe, which defeated Reno National on Thursday. South Tahoe’s youngsters respect Washoe, but they’re not intimidated.
“We’re pretty confident,” Stuck said. “It’s going to be a well-matched game. This game is going to be really close, I can tell.”
Added Harpole, “We believe in ourselves and we’re doing great.”
Note: South Tahoe’s 11-12 All-Stars were eliminated by Sparks National on Wednesday night. No other details were available at press time.