It didn’t take long for Carson City to show it would be a much tougher foe than South Tahoe.
Blake Menzel started his 4-for-4 performance with a double in the first inning as Carson City jumped out to a 3-0 lead and cruised to a 14-4 victory in five innings.
Carson City scored two of the first-inning runs on an error, but it was the bats that did the damage in a four-run second.
Gryphon Matthies doubled in Chase Campagni, who led off the top of the second with a single. Menzel drove in Matthies with the first of his three singles, increasing the lead to 5-0.
A double by Zane Warkentin put runners on second and third for Delsin Roberts, who plated a run with a sacrifice fly to right field. Wyatt Simpson capped the rally with an RBI double to the base of the fence in dead-center field.
Warkentin was dealing on the mound for Carson City, holding Sparks Centennial hitless in his three innings of work. He finished with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Carson City pushed its edge to double digits in the top of the fourth and looked poised to institute the 10-run mercy rule.
In the top of the fourth frame, two runs scored when a ball off the bat of Matthies was misplayed in shallow right field. Menzel smoked a line drive single to left field, knocking in two more runs for an 11-0 advantage.
However, when Carson City turned to its bullpen, that’s when Sparks Centennial managed its first hits of the game and erased the goose egg off the scoreboard.
A leadoff walk to pinch hitter Jonny Lee almost was wasted after the next two batters went for outs.
With the Centennials down to their final out, Joshua Mumm recorded the team’s first hit with an infield single. Following a walk that loaded the bases, George LeBlanc ripped a pinch-hit double just out of the reach of the Carson City center fielder. That brought in two runs and extended the game into the fifth inning with Sparks Centennial trailing 11-2.
Carson City rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth, again flirting with the 10-run mercy rule.
Matthies brought in a run with a sac fly. Joe Gallo followed with a run-scoring double and Menzel singled in his team’s last run.
Sparks Centennial needed three runs in the bottom half of the inning to avoid a mercy-rule ending. In the end, the local squad only managed two runs on a two-run single by Daniel Walsh with one out in the fifth.
Simpson took the ball in relief and struck out the final two batters, getting out of the jam with two Sparks players on base.
Sparks Centennial has a bye Wednesday and will be back in action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Reno American.
Sparks National does not have a team in the Hooligans tourney, but both Sparks leagues are represented in the younger Renegades age group.
On Monday, the Sparks Centennial Renegades rolled over Truckee 14-1, while Sparks National dropped its tourney opener 5-4 to Reno American. Both Sparks teams had byes Tuesday. Sparks Centennial will take on Reno Continental and Sparks National faces host Washoe Wednesday. Games are at 5 p.m.