Sparks pitcher no-hits all-stars
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
RENO – It was a smoky night and Sparks National’s Tanner Denham was throwing it in the opener of the Nevada District I All-Star Tournament for 11-year-olds.
Denham pitched a no-hitter and struck out 13 as Sparks defeated South Tahoe 6-0 Tuesday at South Valley Complex.
Thirteen straight South Tahoe batters were retired before Moriah Lane drew a one-out walk in the fifth inning.
“He was awesome and set the tone for us in the tournament,” said Sparks coach Roy Stralla. “Tanner is our best 10, 11 or 12-year-old in the Sparks National Little League and he demonstrated that tonight.”
South Tahoe manager Steve Kolesnik saw Denham throw a similar game last year in the 9-10 all-star tournament.
“He threw a one-hitter against us on the same field,” Kolesnik said.
South Tahoe starter Alex Vogt also was effective on the mound, going the distance. Vogt struck out six and allowed six hits.
Sparks had trouble against Vogt before two were out in each inning but pushed across five of its six runs after two outs were recorded.
“Alex is a gamer,” Kolesnik said. “He got into some situations, but he got out of them. It easily could of been a 10-0 or 12-0 game.”
Denham helped himself with a two-out, run-scoring single in the first inning. Pablo Contreras made the score 2-0 with a two-out, RBI single in the second and 4-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the fourth.
South Tahoe’s best chance to score came in the fifth when Lane, Connor Ferris and Michael Weber walked consecutively. But Sparks threw out a runner at third and Denham recorded a strikeout to end the rally.
Dillon McKeen came the closest to breaking up the no-hitter when his grounder up the middle was fielded and the ensuing throw beat him to first by a step.
Defensive highlights for South Tahoe included a shoestring catch by outfielder Justin Dalton, several putouts by second baseman Michael Weber and catcher Wade Norberg nailing a runner trying to steal second base.
South Tahoe will meet Carson American today at 5:30 p.m. as pool play continues.