13-14 All-Stars place third in postseason tournament
Truckee Little League’s 13-14 All-Stars earned a third-place finish with a 2-2 record in the Northern Nevada Baseball Championship in Carson City from July 6-11.
The finish was the best ever for the Truckee All-Stars, who needed to win the tournament in order to advance to the state championships in Las Vegas.
The Truckee squad opened the tournament with a 14-1 loss to Sparks Centennial, the defending Nevada champions. Facing an uphill climb in the double-elimination loser’s bracket, Truckee bounced back with a back-and-forth, 7-6 win over Carson City before defeating North Tahoe, 5-3, to advance to the semifinal round. Truckee then fell 18-5 to Reno American, the 2013 Nevada champions.
Truckee got off to a positive start against Sparks Centennial, taking a 1-0 lead with some crafty base running and play calling and a key RBI single by Sawyer Thompson.
Centennial stormed back with clutch hitting off Truckee hurlers Jack Wright and Carson Murphy. The defending champs scored two runs in the first inning, two in the second and one in the third, then broke the game open with eight runs in the fourth inning produced by numerous Truckee errors.
Truckee players had a tough time at the plate against one of Nevada’s toughest pitchers, who threw nasty curves, sliders and fastballs.
Against Carson City, which lost to Reno American, Truckee starter Turner Drummond kept the game close by striking out five while allowing five hits and four runs in the first four innings. Key hits by Turner, Milo Hunt, Gus Loring and Dalton Pruyn pushed the Truckee squad ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
Top of the fifth inning featured a pitching change to Hunt, Truckee’s ace. Truckee allowed an immediate baserunner by error, who ended up scoring after a series of defensive miscues to tie the score at 4-4 entering the top of the sixth.
Thompson again answered the call, starting the inning with a crisp leadoff single. He advanced to third stealing bases with ease, but with one out and the lead run at third, Hunt lined out to deep center field only to have a precision throw to the plate nail Thompson tagging from second to end the Truckee rally.
Carson pushed two runs across in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 6-4 going into the top of the seventh. Carson City pitching then started to crumble, and the Truckee boys scored three runs to make it a 7-6 game — where it ended.
North Tahoe defeated Reno National the day before to set up the game against Truckee.
Truckee took a 5-0 lead with a rapid sequence of nine hits coupled with solid pitching by Decon Mehler and Elliot Rost. North Tahoe made it a 5-1 game in the fourth inning and scored two more in the seventh to close the gap to 5-3.
Mehler started on the mound against Reno American and kept the game tight with Truckee down 5-2 into the top of the fourth inning.
But the Reno squad found its stride and rattled off nine straight hits, coupled with two walks, an error and two hit batters, off of Mehler and reliever Stevie Ryan. By the time the carnage was over in the fifth, Reno led 18-2. Truckee pushed three runs across in the fifth, but it was too little too late.
The Truckee All-Stars were coached by Kevin Murphy, Greg Loring and Mark Mehler.
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For decades the snap of a baseball into a leather glove has signaled a return to warmer weather and the onset of spring in Truckee.