On a hot Monday evening at Pioneer Park, the Nevada City and Grass Valley All-Stars walked onto the field in what, for some, would be the last little league tournament of their lives.
The matchup was made even more intriguing in that Grass Valley manager Jason Weaver and Nevada City manager Danny Turiello grew up playing baseball together and have been battling it out against each other in their own separate leagues for years.
It was no different Monday night, as the first pitch was delivered, the competitiveness in both came out.
In the opening round of the District 11 Area 2 Major All-Star tourney, it was the team from Nevada City claiming an early advantage in the double-elimination tournament, beating Grass Valley, 10-3.
Tyler Nielson of Grass Valley started the game with a three-up-three-down first inning.
Nevada City’s Carter DePue had a rough start, loading the bases with no outs before battling back with two strikeouts and closing the inning with only one run allowed. That would be the only run DePue would give up all night in 4 2-3 innings on the mound.
Offensively for Nevada City, Dustin Thompson had a huge night with a bases-clearing, three-RBI triple. He also had a pair of runs scored to be responsible for the first five runs on the board for Nevada City.
Also contributing big hits with doubles were Jaxon Green, Stephen Desena and Bennett King, who had a multi-hit night.
Brayden Turiello contributed offensively with two walks and a base hit, scoring all three times.
Evan Hicks, David O’looney and Michael Highsmith added hits in the win.
Defensively, King had a critical catch in center field to shut down a rally by Grass Valley.
Brayden Turiello played solid at first base with big plays including a bases-loaded, force-out throw to home in the third inning to prevent Grass Valley from adding to their score.
He closed out the game giving up one earned run and striking out two in 1 2-3 innings pitched.
The Nevada City All-Stars will face the Sierra Foothill All-Stars today at 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Park. Sierra Foothill is also 1-0 in the tourney after beating Penn Valley on Monday.
Manager Danny Turiello is calling it quits, finishing up his 15th straight year managing and/or coaching in Nevada City Little League.
“It’s time to turn the reigns over,” he said.