LAS VEGAS - Carson High School was eliminated from the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon, and the state's champion was crowned a day early because of a scrum that knocked the two losers' bracket finalists out of the tourney.
Reno beat the Senators 11-1 to advance to the losers' bracket final against Durango, which had lost 2-0 in the winners' bracket final to Silverado. What happened next will go down as one of the more bizarre finishes in state tournament history.
Durango was leading Reno 8-2 in the seventh inning when a bench-clearing brawl broke out. Under NIAA rules, both teams were forced to forfeit, leaving Silverado opponent-less for the championship game.
Silverado was declared the champion by default as a result.
"If only one kid had left the dugout, he would've been suspended for a game," Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association spokesman Donnie Nelson said Friday night. "But if the whole team leaves, it's an automatic forfeit, game over. Since both teams left the dugout, both teams forfeited."
Nelson said the rule was clear from the beginning of the season, but it has done little to deter some of the brawls that broke out this season between NIAA teams, including one between rivals Carson and Douglas during a Northern Region game back in March.
"Everyone was informed of it on the first day," he said.
Thus both teams met the same fate as Carson, which can take solace that it was the only team eliminated from this tourney by conventional means. The Senators struggled again on offense and were denied revenge from their zone championship loss to the Huskies.
Carson finishes its season 21-4 after dropping its only two games in the zone tournament.