Seniors out of Mack tourney
The same play Tahoe had run successfully so many times this summer ironically became their undoing.
Resuming a contest called due to darkness, the South Tahoe Senior Babe Ruth team saw Quincy, Calif., execute a bases-loaded squeeze play to win, 14-13, in 11 innings last Friday in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
“We knew it was coming,” said coach David Santee, who was thinking of implementing a unorthodox squeeze-thwarting play but decided against it. “In college we learned this play where you bring a player in from the outfield, put him in catcher’s gear and position him in front of the batter. It forces them to hit away. But we hadn’t practiced it and I didn’t want to have to explain that it was legal if the umpires questioned it.”
Tahoe had its chances, moving runners to second and third in the 10th. But Eddie McDonnell’s line shot to right was grabbed by the right fielder and the rally was killed. Tahoe had owned a five-run advantage in regulation play, but watched as Quincy rallied to tie it at 13 and force extra innings.
With the loss, Tahoe, sporting a 1-1 record in the double-elimination Connie Mack Nevada State Tournament, was forced to play again that same day.
The local team fell quietly to the Reno Black Sox, 18-5, and was eliminated from the tournament. With Carson Triggs on the bump, Tahoe was up 4-3 heading to the third inning. But Reno tallied seven runs in the frame to seal the deal.
“Having to play that extra day was emotionally draining,” said Santee, who credited his kids’ composure in the Quincy game, as the California town’s players were vocally abusive. “It got so bad that I finally had to talk to their coach. But it didn’t matter. We almost got into it in the parking lot after the game. The way they talked, they didn’t deserve to win.”
In the Quincy loss, Adam Heggen went 5 for 6 with two RBIs, while Greg Bruso was 3 for 5 with a sacrifice and three RBIs. Triggs was 3 for 5 with three RBIs, with Matt Solbrig 3 for 6, Chris Hourula 3 for 4 and Thrace Ramsey 3 for 6.
In the Reno loss, Triggs was 3 for 4 with an RBI while Bruso smacked a solo shot in a 2-for-4 effort.
Santee said he told his players to be proud of their efforts.
“We had a lot of fun. It was a real good year for these guys,” he said.
Tahoe finished the summer at 15-12-1, including the state tournament.
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