The past seven games haven’t been good ones for the Carson High baseball team.
The team has posted a 2-5 record in those games, including a 7-3 loss to Bishop Manogue on Tuesday night at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson, 8-9 in league play and currently in seventh place, visits Manogue at 3:45 p.m. Thursday. The Senators are fighting desperately to stay in the top eight and earn a second straight playoff appearance under coach Bryan Manoukian.
While the team is struggling, Chase Blueberg has prospered. In the past seven contests, Blueberg is 10-for-20 with four homers and 16 RBI. He gave Carson a brief 2-0 lead on Tuesday with a homer against Brandon Vial.
“I feel good at the plate,” Blueberg said. “The ball sometimes looks really big. He threw me an inside fastball and I was able to turn on it. I’m not up there trying to hit homers.”
“He is seeing the ball real well,” Manoukian said. “I was actually more impressed with his second at-bat (flyball to right). He got a couple of strikes on him and hit the ball hard to right. The first at-bat was a good one, too. He’s been our most consistent hitter the last six or so games.”
Manogue, currently in a battle with Reed and Douglas for the third spot at 12-5, tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the season.
Web Charles doubled off CHS starter/loser Dustin Dutcher and Conner Nelson walked. After Blaine Smith moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, Lucas Howard scored Charles with an infield out. Alec West beat out a bunt for the second run.
Carson took its last lead of the game in the bottom of the second when Dutcher was hit by a pitch, was balked to second and scored on a two-out single by Josiah Pongasi. All three Carson runs came with two outs.
Manogue retook the lead, 5-3, with three in the third.
Anthony Damonte doubled and Conner Bohach walked. Harrison Shawa followed with the first of his two doubles to score both runners. John Holton relieved Dutcher and gave up a sacrifice fly to Charles. Holton retired Nelson to end the inning.
After the second inning, Carson’s offense was nowhere to be found. Gehrig Tucker and Dom Norton singled, and Pongasi reached on an error. That was the extent of damage done against starter Vial and Conner Brewster, who worked the final two innings. The two combined for a four-hitter, nine strikeouts and just one walk.
“Both pitchers threw well,” Manogue coach Charles Oppio said. “Brandon wasn’t on a pitch count, but he was coming off an injury. I was happy to get five innings out of him. We have a lot of guys pitching well right now.”
Shawa, who finished with four RBI, doubled home an insurance run in the fifth and his short sacrifice fly added another tally in the top of the seventh.