Carson Blue Jays split in tournament, have won 8 of 10 | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson Blue Jays split in tournament, have won 8 of 10

SPARKS — The Carson Blue Jays have gotten better as the summer has progressed, and their eight wins in the last 10 games have proven that.

"We've focused on having competitive at-bats and competitive pitching, and being solid on defense to get stuff done," Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said after the Blue Jays split their first two games of the North Valleys PawSox Tournament on Friday at Spanish Springs.

The competitive at-bats were abundant in the opener, as the Blue Jays topped Neah Kah Ne, 13-8, and then Carson dropped a 10-3 decision to the Spanish Springs Bandits.

Carson continues play today at 1:40 p.m. against Fernley and then plays at 4 p.m. against North Valleys. Both games will be played at North Valleys.

The Blue Jays rolled to a 12-3 lead after five innings in their opening game, but Neah Kah Ne made it close with five runs in the sixth inning to make Manoukian & Co. sweat a little bit.

Jared Barnard doubled home two runs in the first and Landon Truesdale singled home two in the second, sparking a four-run second to make it 6-1. Abel Carter had a run-scoring single in the second and an error accounted for a run.

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In the third, Carson added three more runs on a sacrifice fly by Carter, a run-scoring single by Kyle Glanzmann and an error.

The losers scored twice in the fourth to make it 9-3, but a three-run homer by Kahle Good made it 12-3.

"We took advantage of some balls they misplayed in the outfield and got a big lead," Manoukian said. "Quinn (Overland, CHS starter) was around 51-52 pitches and he was getting tired. I thought he threw well.

"We had to burn some pitching to get through the game, and we'll see how that affects us by Sunday."

Zach Glanzmann after a solid fifth inning, gave up five runs in the sixth, as Neah Kah Ne trimmed the lead to 12-8 before Carson scored an insurance run in the seventh on a single by Barnard.

Carson's hitters, especially with runners in scoring position, struggled against the Bandits. The Blue Jays left two runners on in the second, third and fifth innings.

In the second, Gryphon Matthies struck out with runners at first and second. In the third, Barnard grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, spoiling what had the potential to be a big inning. In the fifth, Truesdale popped up with runners at second and third.

"We had bad approaches at the plate when we got runners in scoring position,"Manoukian said.

Carson only led once, in the first, when Carter doubled to right-center field, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Good's infield out.

Singles by Tristan Dahir and Tristan Hussey gave the Bandits a 2-1 lead, but Carson fought back to tie the game at 2 when Joe Tonino reached on an error and scored on Good's bases-loaded walk.

The game took a decided turn in the bottom of the third when the Bandits scored four times to take a 6-2 lead. The big play in the inning was a ball that landed in foul territory but should have been caught.

With runners on first and second with one out, Hunter Dudley lofted a pop fly in back of first.

Carson first baseman Garrett Benavidez drifted back and Barnard, who had the better angle from second base, couldn't reach the ball. Dudley blasted a run-scoring single to make it 3-2.

After a strikeout, Tristan Hussey and Johnny McHenry both delivered run-scoring hits. Had the foul ball been caught no runs would have scored.

"That was a big swing right there," Manoukian said.

Good's run-scoring single made it 6-3 in the fifth, but the Bandits tacked on another four runs, three more off starter Ben Nelson, to take a 10-3 lead.

Carter went 3-for-3 in the second game and Kyle Glanzmann added another two hits.