Over the past four years, the core of this season's Carson Valley Little League 11-12-year-old All-Star team has had its fair share of success.
In four years of all-star play, this year's 12-year-olds have advanced to the District I championship twice. Last summer, they pulled off a monumental upset over perennial powerhouse Washoe Little League during pool play. Seven of the 13 players on this year's 11-12-year-old squad were on the field for that win last year.
This year, the group is looking to continue some of that success. They open the 2010 tournament Saturday at Governor's Field in Carson City against hosting Carson Little League at 7:30 p.m.
"Everyone is excited to get going and see what happens," coach Mike Davies said. "Most of these kids have been on those teams that had so much success the last few years. This is their last year to play all-stars so they're eager to get going and see what they can do."
The tournament will be played in double-elimination format this year, as opposed to the pool play/championship bracket format of seasons past. The change, along with pitch-count and days-of-rest rule modifications for pitchers, will require more depth from each squad's pitching staff in the tournament.
Good thing for Carson Valley, depth in pitching is something the team has in good supply.
"We've got nine guys who can pitch," Davies said. "That's going to be important. As a team I think we're going to be pretty good all around. We can hit and field well. It'll be fun to see what happens. We're excited to get going."
Members of the 11-12-year-old all-stars include Riley Wilkinson, Daniel Cameron Owens, William Cassinos, Zachary Davies, Jason Graham, Johnathan Hoyt, Michael Mejia, Benjamin Nolting, Jared Rooker, Richard Simons, Dylan Sullivan, Tanner Valenzuela and Avery Wells. The coaching staff includes Mike Davies, Kevin Capra and Troy Valenzuela.
Carson Valley opened its district tournament with an 11-3 loss to Washoe.
The game was tied at 1 after the first inning but Washoe used a six-run second to propel ahead.
Carson Valley loaded the bases twice in the game, including in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, but wasn't able to capitalize on the situations.
Carson Valley will play tonight at 8 p.m. against either Reno Continental or North Tahoe at Governor's Field in Carson City.
Joey Crandall can be reached at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.