Seniors split two at all-stars |

Seniors split two at all-stars

by Chuck Smock, sports editor

The Carson Valley Senior all-stars bombed the New Mexico state champions in the first round of the Western Regional baseball tournament on Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo.

The second game was a different story, however, as the Arizona 15- and 16-year-old state champs defeated Carson Valley in a nail-biter, 4-3, in extra innings Sunday.

The loss to Arizona set up a rematch Monday with New Mexico, which eliminated the Utah state champs in a losers’ bracket game Sunday.

Arizona and Colorado played in the winners’ bracket final on Monday.

If Carson Valley is going to win the regional tournament and advance to the Western Divisional tournament in San Jose, the local all-stars will need to beat New Mexico, the Arizona-Colorado loser and the Arizona-Colorado winner – twice – in a three-day period. The championship game(s) will be played today.

Carson Valley opened the tournament with a 20-13 win over the New Mexico state champions from Hobbs as both teams took advantage of the short, 300-foot outfield fence.

Tommy Hoyle settled down after a shaky start and earned the victory. He pitched all seven innings, striking out nine batters and walking two.

New Mexico hit four home runs in the game, including three in the first inning, and led 10-3 after two innings.

Carson Valley answered with five home runs. Cal Lewis hit two homers and was 4-for-5. Matt Jacobsen belted a grand slam home run. Hoyle (3-for-5) and Matt Saylo (3-for-4) also hit home runs.

Jacobsen’s grand slam highlighted a 10-run third inning rally that allowed Carson Valley to battle back into the game.

Evan Berry was 3-for-5. James Bunting and Andrew Andrews each finished with two hits.

Carson Valley’s second game was the exact opposite of the first.

The Arizona state champs defeated Carson Valley, 4-3, in a nine-inning game that saw both starting pitchers go the distance.

The team from Flowing Wells, Ariz., took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on a single and a home run.

In the sixth inning, Hoyle singled and Lewis followed with a home run to tie the game.

Carson Valley went up 3-2 in the top of the ninth when Ryan Curtis singled home Casey Lind. Lind was pinch running for Jacobsen, who had singled to lead off the inning.

Darren Muren allowed only five hits, struck out seven batters and walked six, but he ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth. Muren hit two batters and allowed a single to load the bases. Arizona then executed a squeeze bunt to tie the game. An error in the outfield allowed the winning run to score.

“It was a classic pitchers’ duel even in the small ballpark,” CV manager Tim Curtis said. “Pitching dominated the game. It was an extremely intense game.”

Hoyle finished the game 3-for-4 with three singles. Jacobsen was 2-for-4 and Lewis, Berry, Saylo and Curtis each had one hit.