Miracle run ends for South Tahoe
FALLON – South Tahoe’s miracle run to win a state Babe Ruth baseball championship for 14-year-olds ended Thursday with a one-run loss to South Reno.
South Reno broke a 1-1 tie and scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to edge the pesky South Tahoe All-Stars 3-2 at Fallon’s Babe Ruth field.
“From 10 runs to one run this time. The kids kept getting stronger every game,” said South Tahoe manager Mike Holmgren in assessing his team’s run for a state crown.
South Reno had defeated South Tahoe 15-5 earlier in the tournament, but since that loss, the Tahoe All-Stars came back to win three straight games including a thriller over Reno West Wednesday night to advance to the championship round.
“Our kids kept getting stronger every game,” Holmgren said. “Our kids wanted this game really bad.”
Even in defeat the South Tahoe players were upbeat and pleased with their week of baseball.
Matt Marsh said South Tahoe played well for the week and had South Reno on the edge for most of Thursday’s game. He was happy with his teammates.
“I didn’t think we would get this far,” said Marsh.
South Reno manager Joe DuFur complimented South Tahoe’s players on their improvement and how they battled his team.
“We were concerned about them and didn’t overlook them,” said DuFur.
When the Reno manager learned South Tahoe had beaten Reno West to advance to the championship game, DuFur and his players became more focused.
“Our kids never lost their focus. We knew from the beginning we were in a battle. Their pitchers kept us off balance,” DuFur pointed out.
South Reno managed only eight hits against South Tahoe, but DuFur said the team relied more on its defense Thursday than its offense.
South Reno became the first team in the weeklong tournament not to commit an error.
“We played good defense,” said Brandon Frankel.
DuFur said several South Reno players came through with defensive gems late in the game.
Kegan Peterson played well at third base and gunned down a runner at home plate in the seventh inning for the second out. Steve Hampshire and Jeff Kamper patrolled the outfield and made some crucial catches.
Holmgren said South Tahoe’s hitting also took a siesta against South Reno. During the past three games South Tahoe averaged 12 hits a game; against South Reno, the Tahoe all-stars hat only three hits.
“Our bats were not on, not working tonight and the score shows it,” lamented Holmgren.
He credited South Reno’s game plan and desire to come back for the win.
South Reno leaves next week for the Pacific Southwest Babe Ruth Tournament at Eureka, Calif. Their first game will be on Wednesday.
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