RENO — Piecing together pitching and hitting can be difficult, as the Carson Senators found out Tuesday afternoon.
After scoring 15 runs against Hug on Saturday, the Senators were stymied on four hits by Hug lefty Raymond Kerr and dropped a 2-1 decision to drop to 5-5 in league play.
Kerr fanned 12 and hit a batter in setting down Carson. Other than the third inning, when Carson scored its only run, the Senators only got one runner past second base.
“He threw a very good game,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said of Kerr. “He made big pitches when he had to make them. We helped him out by swinging at some (high) pitches and we struck out on a pitch in the dirt. He had a good pick-off move and kept us off-balance.”
“It was one of my best ever,” Kerr said of his performance. “I’ve been working hard on locating my fastball and curve. The one thing I learned from Saturday is their big guy (Luke Maher) always pops it up when you keep it low.”
Kerr’s gem wiped out solid pitching performances by Carson’s Zak Harjes and Chazz Nystrom. Harjes, normally the starting catcher, made his first appearance on the mound. He worked the first four innings, allowing two unearned runs and one hit and striking out six batters. Nystrom worked two hitless innings with a walk and a strikeout.
Harjes struggled with location in the first, when Hug scored both of its runs.
He walked Joe Jones to start the game and stole second base. Junior Kadderimoglou hit a routine ground ball to second. The ball went through Dom Norton’s legs, and the throw home from the outfield to get Jones was wild, allowing Kadderimoglou to move all the way around to third. He scored moments later on a sacrifice fly by Kerr.
That was the extent of Hug’s offense. After the sacrifice fly, Harjes and Nystrom combined to retire 15 of the last 18 batters they faced. The only hit in that span was a fourth-inning single by Martin Reyes.
“It was Zak’s first time out there this year,” Manoukian said. “We should have been able to overcome one walk in that first inning. The error at second base was big. We should have been out of the inning with just one run.”
Carson got a run back in the third after two outs when TJ Thomsen hit a low liner to right. Jutland Alsaybar tried for a shoestring catch, but the ball got by him and went to the wall. The speedy Thomsen, despite the fact the fact Manoukian was waving him home, hesitated coming around third. He ended up scoring when catcher Nathan Cain mishandled the relay throw.
Hug threatened in the fourth, when Cain reached on an error and stole second. Harjes retired the next two hitters, but gave up a single to Reyes. Cain tried to score on the hit, but was easily gunned down by Thomsen.
Carson threatened in the top of the sixth, when Gehrig Tucker doubled to deep left. He moved to third when Maher tried to push a bunt between the mound and first, but Kerr got to the ball and threw him out. Tucker moved to third on the play. Harjes was caught looking at a 3-2 curveball for the second out, and then Charlie Banfield struck out to end the inning. The Hug defense was playing back at second and short, so any ball hit there would have tied the game.
“Zak isn’t one of our best bunters,” Manoukian said when asked if he considered a squeeze bunt. “He’s been swinging it well. He puts the ball in play well. All I needed him to do was hit the ball somewhere.”
It appeared that Kerr’s breaking ball on the inside corner froze Harjes. It was certainly too close to take on a 3-2 count. Harjes may have been surprised at the curveball.
“I throw it as much as the coach trusts me to throw it,” Kerr said. “I was kind of surprised that they didn’t squeeze.”
NOTES: Nystrom hasn’t been scored on in his past three innings of work ... Maher’s six-game hit streak was snapped ... Tucker has hit in four of his last six games (5-for-12) ... Carson returns to action Thursday at home at 3:45 p.m. against Reed, then plays the Raiders at 4 p.m. Friday at Aces Stadium. Jace Zampirro starts Thursday and Chase Blueberg on Friday.
DOUGLAS 1, RENO 0
MINDEN — Kali Sargent tossed a three-hit shutout and Illiana Brown drove in the game’s only run with a sixth-inning single to pace the Tigers to a narrow win Tuesday afternoon.
Douglas improved to 11-4 overall and 5-2 in league.
The Tigers snapped the scoreless tie when Kelly Sonnemann walked, moved to third on a Leonna Mortimer double and scored on Brown’s one-bagger. Brown led Douglas with two hits.
Kylee Spencer led Reno with two hits.
CHS GOLFERS 5th
GENOA — Carson High’s golf team finished fifth in the recent Sierra League tournament at Genoa Lakes.
The Senators finished with 454, two strokes behind Damonte Ranch and 11 behind Douglas.
Sam Bruketta led the Senators with an 85, and Andy Cooper had an 89. Jon Porter and Jake Jones were next with a 90 and 91, respectively. Jake Zumbro had a 99 and Avery Whitt shot 104.
“We are starting to play a lot better, and are starting to limit our crooked numbers and getting more consistent play,” CHS coach Jeff Rispin said. “Hopefully we can continue to improve, and can get on a run to finish out the season in fourth or even third.
Carson returns to action April 17 at Arrowcreek Country Club.