For four innings, Carson High was in control and headed toward a split of its series against Galena, and then the fifth inning came along.
The Grizzlies rallied to tie the game at 4 with three runs in the fifth and then added three in the eighth en route to a 7-4 win over the Senators Thursday night at Ron McNutt Field. The win gave Galena a sweep of the two-game series.
Carson dropped to 4-4 in Division I play, while Galena improved to 6-2. Carson opens a two-game series against visiting Hug at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“I’m proud of the way the guys played,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “After the game we had on Tuesday (17-6 loss) we could have rolled over. We made them work for everything they got in that win.”
“The kids came back and answered when they went ahead 4-1 on us,” Galena coach Ron McNutt said.
After the four-run outburst in the fourth against Galena starter Nathan Barry and reliever Jared Streshley, Carson’s offense started shooting blanks.
Dylan Tockey, making his first appearance of the season, threw four innings of one-hit ball to pick up the win. He allowed just four baserunners, two on walks, one on a hit batsman and an infield single by Casey Wolfe. He fanned seven in that stretch, and nobody in the Carson lineup was able to catch up to the fastball.
“I told you he could throw,” McNutt said. “He’s around the plate. He is not going to miss too often.”
“He threw (Tockey) well,” Manoukian said. “We didn’t make adjustments. We kept chasing the fastball up.”
Carson’s Danny Guthrie threw two scoreless innings to get the game to the eighth, but unfortunately Dom Norton was unable to keep it going.
Norton walked Chaz Clark, and then threw wildly in an attempt to pick him off at first. Clark went all the way around to third on the play and scored moments later on Brock Raggio’s deep double to center to make it 5-4. Raggio moved to third on Alex Smagala’s single and scored on Michael Jones’ single to center to make it 6-4. Chazz Nystrom came on for Norton. Ben Barnard sacrificed the runners to second and third, and then Tim Lichty was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a potential double play. Cole Fenner spoiled that by hitting a deep flyball to right to score Smagala with the game’s final run and a 7-4 lead.
Carson went out quietly in the seventh.
“I thought Guthrie and Chazz threw outstanding,” Manoukian said. “We had to walk their best hitter (Lichti) to get to Fenner. For Chazz to get out of there with just that one run was good. Danny gave us a chance to win the game.”
Manoukian was asked if he considered using Chase Blueberg in the eighth. Blueberg is slated to start Saturday against Hug.
“We talked about it,” Manoukian said. “To be successful in zone you have to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so you need three starters. We need the guys in the bullpen that can get outs.”
Maybe Guthrie will be one of the answers. He fanned three and walked two in his stint.
Jace Zampirro started for the Senators, and was nicked for an early run when Lichty singled home Barnard, who had walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Fenner doubled Lichty to third, but Zampirro retired the next two batters to end the rally.
Carson broke through against Barry in the third, scoring four times for a 4-1 lead.
Luke Maher (2-for-3) singled and stole second. Blueberg followed with an infield single, Maher holding at second. Both runners scored when hot-hitting Charlie Banfield laced a double into the right-centerfield gap. Zak Harjes followed with a shot off the wrist of Barry, who recovered in time to get the second out of the inning. Barry departed in favor of Streshley. He gave up a run-scoring single to Wolfe to make it 3-1, and then second baseman Wyatt Nebe threw wildly to first on TJ Thomsen’s’ groundball allowing the fourth run of the inning.
“We played baseball for a short time and good things happened,” Manoukian said. “The guys did their job.”
Galena tied it with three in the fifth on run-scoring hits by Fenner, Eric Anderson and Nebe. The damage could have been more, but Fenner was thrown out between third and home when a squeeze play was botched.