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Dilger tops Nicosia for Hot August Nights horseshoes title

Apparently, in a horseshoes tournament, it’s better to be a sponsor than the host.

While Mike Nicosia and Alien Amusement hosted the Hot Desert Nights Open on Friday night at Petrack Park, Lathan Dilger at Pahrump Valley Storage provided the trophies, and it was Dilger who went home with the biggest one.

Dilger handed Nicosia both of his defeats in the double-elimination event, a nonsanctioned tournament with a $5 entry fee. Dan Dunn finished third, with Joe Kalache fourth and Kasey Dilger fifth.

Lathan Dilger, the president of the Southern Nevada Horseshoe Pitchers Association, was pleased with the turnout of 23 pitchers.

“We had four players from Mount Charleston, two from Vegas and also two ladies,” said Dilger, who pocketed $80 for the victory. “Now we’re getting more ladies involved … they could have their own division.”

The main bracket featured Kalache facing Nicosia in one semifinal and Dilger facing Dilger in the other, this after Kasey Dilger had opened the tournament by defeating Sheri Dilger, his aunt. Two more wins and two by Lathan Dilger led to their meeting in the semis of the main bracket.

Kalache had to win three games to reach the semis, while Nicosia, like Lathan Dilger, was one of seven pitchers with a first-round bye, won twice. Nicosia’s win sent Kalache into the losers’ bracket to face Dunn, whose victory put him in the bracket final against Nicosia after his first loss to Lathan Dilger. Nicosia won that to set up the rematch in the championship game.

Although he didn’t take the big prize, Nicosia was praised for hosting the event.

“Mike hosted an awesome tournament,” Lathan Dilger said of the first night event of the season. He added that he is donating his winnings back to the SNHPA and asked that anyone who would like to host a tournament, in a backyard or at Petrack Park, should contact him at 435-691-3857.

Next up for horseshoe pitchers is a tournament sanctioned by the Nevada State Horseshoe Pitchers Association, the Leavitt Fall Open on Sept. 5 at Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort.

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