South Tahoe All Star 15s starts strong
North Tahoe’s 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars loaded the bases twice against South Tahoe in their tournament opener Saturday night at Todd Fields.
And twice Troy Radke and Marcus Mellberg shut them down without giving up a single run.
South Tahoe’s 10-0 shutout victory in six innings was as much a team victory as it was a testimonial of South Tahoe’s newfound hitting prowess.
South Tahoe had nine hits and as many earned runs.
But the pat on the back was reserved for pitchers Kyle Churchill and Radke.
Churchill opened on the mound for South Tahoe, pitching a stronger, more consistent game than had in the regular Babe Ruth season.
He pitched the first 2 2/3 innings, allowed no hits, struck out three and walked three.
“My arm was hurting at the beginning again, but I wanted to win so bad I just let it go,” he said.
Radke played nearly as well, pitching 2, 2/3 innings, giving up two of North Tahoe’s three hits, and walking two.
He made the final out in the third inning with the bases loaded.
“I felt pretty good,” he said about stepping into an undesireble position. “Everything was in sequence and was just going right.”
Mellberg closed the game with a bases-loaded fan of North Tahoe pitcher J. Cooper Brown. Mellberg pitched the final inning, allowed one hit, one walk and struck out two.
“We had a big-time collective effort from three outstanding pitchers,” said South Tahoe team manager Mark Shehadi. “Kyle did a great job to start us off, and Troy came in and kept them off balance and did his job.”
After a hitting spell that had the team losing to 13-year-olds in its opening few games of a practice tournament last weekend, South Tahoe’s bats came alive.
Ryan Bosson went 2 for 3 and also got on with an error to score twice.
He hit a key RBI single in the second inning to give South Tahoe its second run.
Randy Henson had the team’s big hits for the night. In going 2 for 4, he doubled twice and scored as many runs.
Mellberg also had a momentum-building single to bring in Kyle Jones and Henson in the fourth inning to score runs three and four. He tried to stretch the hit into a double, but North Tahoe’s Chris Spaulding caught a nice throw from Kyle Leslie in left field to make the tag.
Radke also hit an RBI double in the fourth to score and give his team a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
“Almost everything that happened out there was sub-par,” said Mark Babbitt, North Tahoe’s manager.
North Tahoe made only two errors for the day, but left eight batters on base. Ryan Lane and Brown split time on the bump.
“We got used to winning,” Babbitt added. “Losing like tonight is not reflective of how talented these guys are … This was our first game and it showed in a lot of areas.”