Save for two innings, the Carson Blue Jays played a solid game against the Reno Aces.
But in those two innings, the third and the eighth, the Aces scored all nine of their runs en route to a 9-5 win over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson, which played without Luke Maher and Nevin Elliott (both at football camp), dropped to 2-8. The Blue Jays play Douglas at 7 p.m. today in a 9-inning game.
"I was happy with how we performed for six of the eight innings," Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. "The other two innings we have to get markedly better.
"We missed some signs and had some baserunning mistakes, and we didn't have good at-bats when we needed them. I thought Charlie (Banfield) pitched well except for the third inning and we got what we needed out of Chazz (Nystrom)."
In fact, it was Nystrom who was on the hill in the fateful eighth inning when the Aces went ahead for good. Nystrom had breezed through his first two innings, but was pulled when he walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches.
"Chazz is on a short pitch count ," Manoukian said. "He wasn't close on any of the four pitches. He's a short relief guy."
Danny Guthrie came on and retired the first two batters he faced, but then six straight hitters reached base before he was able to retire the side.
Logan Howard drove in the go-ahead run to make it 5-4. Kyle Lewis then ripped a line drive past Ronnie Orzalli for a two-run double to make it 7-4. An error and a run-scoring single by Shon Plamondon accounted for the last two Aces runs.
The Aces sent Kyle Pruneau to the hill in the eighth, and he fanned the first two batters he faced. Carson's Dustin Dutcher was hit by a pitch and Tyler Valley kept the inning alive with a single to right, which sent Dutcher to third. Up stepped Gehrig Tucker, who singled home a run to make it 9-5. Pruneau fanned TJ Thomsen to end the game.
While the eighth inning was disappointing enough, it was the seventh that really killed Carson.
With one out, Thomsen was hit by a pitch and then was thrown out at second on a steal attempt by Plamondon. Jace Zampirro walked and Chase Blueberg was hit by a pitch. Logan Krupp ended the inning by hitting into a fielder's choice. Carson left two runners on in each the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
The failures in the sixth, seventh and eighth wiped out the fast start the Blue Jays enjoyed.
Tucker, who reached base four times and scored twice, reached on a walk and scored on a throwing error in the first inning to give Carson a 1-0 lead.
Carson made it 4-0 in the second when it scored three times. Thomsen's infield out scored a run and Zampirro delivered a two-run single.
Tucker was hit by a pitch and scored the second run of the inning.
Tucker had a long day. He went to a prospect's camp at Sac State which went from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and he was able to make it back to the game 15 minutes before first pitch. It was baseball from sun-up to sundown.
"My dad and I left Sunday night," Tucker said. "We left at 3 and my dad sped a little so we could get here on time. I thought I did pretty well (at the camp). They had some studs who could really hit there.
"I didn't have (enough) quality at-bats tonight. I saw a lot of pitches which helped my teammates."
Banfield, who cruised through the first two innings, gave up four in the third on four hits and a walk.
Banfield escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and had an easy fifth before departing with the score knotted at 4. Carson managed just two hits between the third and seventh innings.