South Tahoe rocked by South Reno
The South Tahoe 15-Year-Old Babe Ruth All-Stars won their first two games of the state tournament. For that accomplishment, they earned a date with a buzzsaw known as South Reno.
The powerful South Reno team knocked out 12 hits in only five innings and blanked South Tahoe, 16-0, in the final game of the winner’s bracket at Todd Fields on Tuesday night.
South Reno brought a huge squad into the game, with at least three players towering over South Tahoe star Ian Rice. While a size advantage doesn’t guarantee victory in baseball, the South Tahoe players were clearly taken aback by their opponents.
“I think my guys were a little psyched out today,” South Tahoe manager John Rice said. “(South Reno) have so much size, my kids were a little intimidated.”
South Tahoe moves to the loser’s bracket, where they will have a rematch with Carson City today. South Tahoe won the first-round matchup between the teams, 13-7.
“We’ll come back out (today) and let out all this pent-up energy,” John Rice said. “We’ll shake this loss off pretty quick.”
South Tahoe is down to nine players after tournament officials ruled Zack Kropf ineligible and catcher Garrett Gibb injured his throwing hand during Sunday’s win over North Valley.
Things started hopefully on Tuesday night for South Tahoe, who were playing as visitors on their home field. Ian Rice and Chris Diana hit back-to-back singles with one out, but South Reno starter Tony Thompson got Elijah Townsend on a strikeout and Diana was cut down trying to steal to end the threat.
South Reno didn’t take long to solve Townsend, pitching in his third straight game. J.D. Peters led off with a line-drive single and scored on Thompson’s triple. Eric Maupin followed with a walk, and Jake Hess hit a drive that Bo Hallum tracked down with a leaping catch in center field, Thompson scoring on the sacrifice fly. South Reno would score five runs in the opening frame, with Townsend lifted going into the next inning.
The onslaught continued in the second, with Diana unable to get an out in seven batters. Hess had the big blow in the six-run inning, a three-run homer to left field that made the score 9-0 and essentially ended any upset hopes for the host team.
South Reno scored four more runs in the third inning and one in the fourth. Thompson gave way to his bullpen after three innings, but South Tahoe couldn’t score on Jose Linares or Jeff Gasper either.
The winner of today’s South Tahoe-Carson City game will move on to play South Reno in the championship game on Thursday. Today’s game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at Todd Fields.