The day started with Carson leadoff hitter Gehrig Tucker being taken to the emergency room and ending up in bed, and it ended with a couple of defensive mistakes.
Galena scored three unearned runs in the sixth inning to snap a 3-all tie and end Carson’s season, 6-3, Wednesday night at Ron McNutt Field in an elimination game in the NIAA post-season tournament.
Carson finished the season with a 14-19 record, including a 10-game losing streak. Galena moves on to play Spanish Springs at 4 p.m. today at Reno High.
Carson coach Bryan Manoukian is not one to make excuses, but he admitted that the loss of Tucker hurt.
“It was a very tough loss,” Manoukian said. “Even though we lost two straight, I’m proud of the way the kids battled. We took the No. 1 seed (Manogue) to a 3-2 game and we were ahead until the fifth inning, and tonight we were tied going into the bottom of the sixth.
“Gehrig is the engine that drives our offense. He gets on base a lot. Not having him isn’t an ideal situation, but I’m proud of thew way the guys responded. They battled and kept it close to the end.”
One thing is certain, the Grizzlies knew they were in a ballgame. Carson led twice — 1-0 and 3-2.
“We lived to play another day,” said Galena coach Ron McNutt. “I thought it would be a close game. Carson didn’t have the best record this year, but the team has some talented players. I told the team that Carson came to play yesterday and that they were going to come to play tonight.”
Carson took a 3-2 lead off reliever Dylan Tockey in the top of the sixth when Charlie Banfield walked, stole second base and scored on Dom Norton’s two-out single.
The lead was short-lived, as the proverbial roof caved in on the Senators.
Jace Zampirro, who had relieved Banfield with two outs in the fifth, walked Ben Barnard to start the sixth. Barnard stole second and Chaz Clark struck out. Brock Raggio followed with a bouncer to third. Banfield never got down on the ball, and it went through his legs which allowed Barnard to score the tying run.
“I think Charlie was trying to short-hop the ball, tag the runner and throw to first for a double play instead of taking the out at first,” Manoukian said.
Cody West replaced Raggio on the basepaths, but he didn’t stay there long. Michael Jones followed with a twisting flyball to deep left-centerfield. Chase Blueberg took a bad route to the ball, and despite that, almost made the catch. The ball just went over his glove for a triple to put the Grizzlies ahead 5-3. Jones scored when Zampirro was called for a balk.
“Chase didn’t get a good read,” Manoukian said. “With a left-handed batter, the ball is always going to tail back. He just misjudged it.”
Tockey retired the first two batters in the top of the seventh, but then plunked Luke Maher and walked pinch-hitter Nevin Elliott. Banfield rolled to shortstop to end the game.
Carson started fast in this one, taking a 1-0 lead against Nathan Barry and the Grizzlies. Zampirro hit a two-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Maher’s single.
Galena went ahead 2-1 with single runs in the second and third off Banfield. Cole Fenner doubled in the second and scored on Eric Anderson’s single, and Tim Lichti singled home Jones in the third.
After leaving a runner in scoring position in the fourth, Carson scored an unearned run in the fifth to tie the game at 2.
Norton, who played well defensively in place of Tucker, led the offense with two hits. Zampirro, Maher and Banfiled added a hit each.
NOTES: Carson begins its summer season on Memorial Day weekend in the Reno Knights Tournament. Manoukian said Carson is expected to host a game on May 24 ... Fenner doubled twice for Galena, while Jones had a double and triple with two runs scored. Lichti contributed two singles.