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South Tahoe 14s surprise again, advance title game

STEVE RANSON, Tribune News Service

FALLON – South Tahoe baseball manager Dan Holmgren couldn’t wait to talk to his team Wednesday evening after his 14-year-old baseball all-stars upset Reno West.

The affable Holmgren praised his players for their outstanding effort in coming from behind and holding a lead in the consolation final at Fallon’s Babe Ruth field.

With the win in the double-elimination tournament, South Tahoe faces South Reno at 5 p.m. today in a rematch between the two teams. South Reno stopped South Tahoe Sunday night 15-5.

Wednesday’s game highlights could easily be defined under the word “upset” as South Tahoe banged out 12 hits in its come-from-behind win.

Holmgren agreed.

“Yes. I say it was an upset because we were the underdog. It was a big upset,” Holmgren said as his players filed slowly off the field.

However, pitcher Cameron Hausfeld withheld a fierce comeback from Reno West in the bottom of the seventh inning with South Tahoe leading 10-7.

Tyler York singled to center field to cut the lead to 10-8 , and Hank Davis swung at the first pitch for an RBI double to right field

Hausfeld stared down his next batter, Josh Murphy. Hausfeld stayed ahead of the Reno West batter and had a 1-2 count on him. The South Tahoe hurler then reached back and unleashed a fastball that rode high, causing Murphy to swing at it for a third strike.

“It was a high fastball,” said a grinning Hausfeld in explaining the game’s final pitch.

Hausfeld, though, didn’t let the mistakes rattle him in the seventh inning.

“I kept my confidence. If they got a base hit, I didn’t worry about it,” he said.

After Reno West stunned South Tahoe with a 4-0 first inning lead, Holmgren felt the Reno team had the game won.

“They didn’t take us seriously … they didn’t think we could come back. But we came back pecking and pecking and pecking away,” Holmgren said.

Outfielder Kyle DiGrande said skill and luck have given South Tahoe the opportunity to play in the championship game. DiGrande said his buddies played as a team, hungry for a win over one of the pre-tournament favorites.

A four-run lead did not frazzle South Tahoe. Reno West jumped on starting pitcher Kyle Dupree after two outs. Mitch Meranda slammed an RBI-single followed by Troy Harris’ run-producing single that gave Reno West a 2-0 lead.

South Tahoe’s defense yielded two more runs to their Reno opponents.

Yet, as it has done all week, South Tahoe did not fold like a bad poker hand.

Instead, the team took advantage of the situation in the top of the third inning. A major error led to a pair of South Tahoe runs, and Dupree helped his own cause with a single to right field.

South Tahoe finally scored runs after stranding six runners in the first two innings.

“Leaving the bases loaded in the first and second innings hurt,” Holmgren said.

Reno West added an insurance run in the bottom of the third to lead 5-3. Tyler Shanks drove in his team’s fifth run with a single.

Hausfeld entered the game to pitch for South Tahoe in the fourth after his team scored three more runs for a 6-5 lead.

Hausfeld scored the inning’s first run on a wild pitch. Kyle Van Noy then came into pitch for Reno West with no outs. Colt Johnston unloaded on a fast ball with a deep fly to center field, which was dropped. Two batters later with runners on second and third, first baseman Joel Morris ripped a two-run double into the gap.

South Tahoe’s defense had some problems in the fourth inning by allowing two runs for a 7-6 Reno West lead.

After that, the rest of the game belonged to South Tahoe.

In the fifth and sixth innings, South Tahoe scored a total of four runs, two in each inning.

Hausfeld drove in the fifth inning’s first run to tie the game at 7, and two batters later, Johnston put South Tahoe on top with an RBI double.

Jake Leonard’s long single to left field accounted for two runs in the sixth and a 10-7 South Tahoe lead.


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