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Sparks 13-15-year-old All-Stars drop opener
by Aaron Retherford
Jul 17, 2010 | 1210 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star Tyler Starley watches his fourth-inning line drive fall in for a hit. North Valleys went on to win 7-3 Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star Tyler Starley watches his fourth-inning line drive fall in for a hit. North Valleys went on to win 7-3 Saturday.
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North Valleys only managed to score in one inning and with only one hit in that inning against the Sparks Babe Ruth 13-15-year-old All-Stars Saturday afternoon.

But even though Sparks was cruising behind pitcher Chris Flores, the wheels came off in the sixth.

North Valleys rallied for seven runs on one hit to erase a 3-0 deficit and won its first-round matchup, 7-3, at the state tournament hosted by Reno West at the Governors Bowl.

JJ Harloff's leadoff base hit was the lone hit in the rally for North Valleys. However, he was also erased from the bases for the second out on Maurico Vanela's fielder's choice.

That didn't stall the rally. North Valleys sent nine more batters to the plate after the second out was recorded. Two straight walks loaded the bases.

An error in the infield allowed the first North Valleys run to score.

Norman Mustain drew a bases loaded walk, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Flores hit the next batter, Tyler Sterne, to tie the game and end his outing. Flores only allowed three hits in 5 2-3 innings of work, but did not factor in the decision.

Tyler Starley came on in relief but he struggled with his control as well.

Starley walked the first hitter he faced, Ian Flanary, handing the lead to North Valleys.

He then walked three more consecutive batters, Harloff, Hunter Pierce and Vanela for the final 7-4 margin.

Vanela ended up earning the win on the mound by throwing a complete game. He got stronger as the game wore on, allowing no hits in the final three innings.

Sparks got to him in the first and third innings. Sparks' Codey Beattie crushed a triple to right field with two outs in the first and came home when Zach Squires ripped a shot past the first baseman for the initial 1-0 lead.

In the third, Casey Higgins and Beattie had back-to-back jam shots that blooped into no man's land in the outfield for base hits.

Higgins was thrown out at third on a bad bunt, but both Beattie and Squires strolled home thanks to consecutive walks with the bases juiced. Flores and Domenic Montenegro picked up those RBIs.

Sparks fell into a losers' bracket matchup scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday against South Tahoe.
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