Carson High offense continues struggles in loss to Galena
April 18, 2017
Carson High's offense has been up and down all season.
Tuesday, the Senators were down for the second time in three games, collecting just five hits in an 8-1 loss to Galena at Ron McNutt Field.
The loss dropped Carson to 6-7 in league play, and the Senators will play at Galena on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. in the final game of the two-game series.
Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said his team's hitting woes have become mental, and he admitted that confidence is a factor as well.
"It's hard not to have confidence issues with what we are going through," he said after watching his five through nine hitters go 1-for-15 against right-handers Nick Brown and Austin Wickham. "These guys are going to have to dig down deep to get out of their individual funks. We are not playing up to our potential.
"It's become mental with our hitting. We are not swinging at pitches we should be, and we are swinging at pitches out of the zone. We are just not executing. We aren't getting the right at-bat in the right situation. We get a fly ball with runners on first and second, and that doesn't get it done. We had our opportunities."
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Indeed. Carson left runners in scoring position in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings. Carson went 3-for-13 with two outs and 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Simply put, that isn't getting it done.
To make matters worse, ace pitcher Bryce Moyle injured his right shoulder during his last at-bat, and left the game with a 3-2 count. Manoukian said the injury will be re-evaluated today. If Moyle can't hit that takes one of the best hitters out of an already struggling batting order.
Other than Moyle's two doubles, the Senators had a single from Abel Carter, a run-scoring single from Jace Keema and an infield single by Colby Zemp.
"Nick Brown has been great for us," Galena coach Beau Walker said. "He gave us a chance every inning."
Brown walked just one and fanned six in six innings of work. Wickham worked a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts,
What makes the loss even more frustrating is that despite getting 11 hits off Ben Nelson, Kyle Glanzmann and Cole McDannald, Galena didn't exactly mash the ball.
Four of those hits, including three in the five-run fifth, were of the infield variety.
It was a close game until the fifth. Nelson balked home a run in the first and Tommy Lichty singled home a run in the third.
Carson's only run came in the bottom of the third when Moyle doubled with two out, moved to third on an error and scored on Keema's single. Brown struck out Truesdale to end the inning.
Nelson, according to Manoukian, was the victim of some unfortunate circumstances in the fifth.
After one out, Nolan Craddock reached on an infield single and moved to third on Lichty's double. Both runners scored on Niko Pezonella's single up the middle. Pezonella stole second and Wickham walked.
Cole Demosthenes dropped down a bunt and got all the way to second on Carter's throwing error as Pezonella scored on the play with Wickham taking third.
Mateo Lemus dropped down a run-scoring bunt to make it 6-1, and Andrew West followed with a sacrifice fly to cap the barrage.
Pezonella drove in the game's final run with a ground ball to score Charles Douglas, who had doubled off Glanzmann.
"I thought Ben pitched well," Manoukian said. "Unfortunate things started to happen, and when things aren't going well for a team, unfortunate things tend to happen. There was a bunt we didn't make a play on and another bunt."
"We have been working on team ball," Walker said. "Our offense was ice cold last week. We are just trying to find ways to score runs."