No lead is safe against 9-10 All-Stars
The scoreboard said they were beaten. The smiling faces of the Carson American players and fans signified that they were beaten.
With an inning left before the 10-run rule took effect, South Lake Tahoe’s 10-run deficit looked insurmountable in a Little League All-Star Game on Tuesday in Reno.
What couldn’t be seen was the size of the South Lake Tahoe players’ hearts and determination. By the end of sixth inning, those 13 hearts provided a heartwarming story with their dramatic 14-13 come-from-behind victory.
“I’m real proud of these kids for hanging in there and coming back. You can’t ask any more from them. They were just incredible,” said South Lake Tahoe skipper Harry Plummer.
The improbable comeback started with relief pitcher Cory Plummer getting out of a bases loaded jam without any further damage in the top of the fourth inning.
“They started getting down and I just kept on them,” coach Plummer said. “I kept them telling that they are never out of this game. I reminded them how we scored 14 runs in the first inning the night before. They stuck in there and gutted it out.”
The rally really began to take shape in the bottom of the fourth when Tahoe scored five runs to make the score 13-8.
With reliever Gabe Carranza blanking Carson American over the final two innings, Tahoe was able to continue chipping into the deficit.
“Gabe did a phenomenal job of holding them pat,” Plummer said.
Going into the its final at-bat the disadvantage had shrunk to one. And just to make sure it stayed that way Carson brought in its top pitcher, according to Plummer.
With their hearts beating as one, Skylar Sheldon started the Tahoe sixth by legging out an infield hit. After a fielder’s choice by Chad Kaassamani advanced Sheldon to second base, Cory Plummer singled to put runners on first and third. Tahoe’s leading hitter for the day, Kyante Wilson, followed with a RBI double to tie the score at 13.
Next, Liam Loftis hit a comebacker to the pitcher, who looked back Cory Plummer to third and fired to first for the out. That was more than enough time for speedy Cory Plummer to dash home with the winning run.
“With one out I figured we need to get that run (then), and we had a quick runner on base,” coach Plummer said.
Wilson led the winners by going 3 for 4 and scoring three runs. But there were many other contributors with Kaassamani getting two hits and scoring twice; Skylar Sheldon rapping a pair of hits; and Loftis batting 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Cory Plummer had one hit and scored four times.
South Lake Tahoe (2-1) is off today before concluding pool play against Reno Continental at 6 p.m. Thursday at Washoe Complex in South Reno. Tahoe stands third in its six-team pool and four clubs from each pool advance to the quarterfinals.
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