Lopez, Schafer lead Jays to wild comeback victory
June 5, 2016
Baseball is a funny game sometimes.
The Carson Blue Jays were out-hit 14-6 and made one more error than the Battle Born Outlawz. However, thanks to a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, the Blue Jays escaped with an 8-5 come-from-behind win Saturday night at Ron McNutt Field.
"Normally when you get out-hit by a (nearly) 2-to-1 margin and make more errors than your opponent, you don't expect to win," said Carson coach Bryan Manoukian after the nine-inning game. "I'll take it though.
"Obviously we weren't ready to play tonight. Everybody was at graduation today, and we were just sluggish."
Two of Manoukian's returners — Jesse Lopez and Derek Schafer — were instrumental in the comeback which started in the sixth with two runs and ended in the seventh with five more runs.
Carson's offense was non existent for five innings. The Outlawz led 5-1 after five, and the Blue Jays had just three baserunners against righthander Tucker Scozzafaza in that span.
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Nathan Knowles relieved Scozzafaza in the top of the sixth, and he walked Jared Barnard and Schafer to start the inning. Jayson Artz singled home Barnard to make it 5-2. Luke Myers popped to short on a hit-and-run, and pinch-runner Colby Zemp failed to pick up the location of the ball, and was easily doubled off first. Lopez followed with a run-scoring double to left, cutting the lead to 5-3.
Schafer worked a scoreless eighth, wrapping up a tremendous 4.1 innings of work. He gave up five hits, three of those coming in the fifth when McQueen scored twice to increase its lead to 5-1.
"Derek was outstanding tonight," Manoukian said. "We didn't play very good defense behind him."
Schafer kept McQueen at bay, and his teammates rewarded him with a victory.
Joe Tonino reached on an error in the seventh, moved to second on Kellen McDermott's sacrifice bunt and to third on Bryce Moyle's single.
After Kahle Good walked to load the bases, Barnard doubled home two runs, tying the game at 5.
Trevor Edis walked and Myers walked to force in the go-ahead run. Logan Maker relieved Knowles and was greeted by Lopez, who doubled home two insurance runs to make it 8-5.
Lopez, who moved from No. 9 to No. 1 in the Carson order, hasn't skipped a beat in summer ball. He's hitting .500 with 13 RBI.
"He's a ballplayer," Manoukian said. "He's a solid centerfielder and gets clutch hits when we need them. He's making the transition from nine to one in the order. We're still working on the lead-off at-bat (to start the game). After the first at-bat, the lead-off hitter is just another hitter."
"I'm seeing the ball really well," Lopez said. "I worked really hard on my swing before the (high school) season. I like where my swing is at right now."
The Outlawz loaded the bases against reliever Kyle Glanzmann, who struck out Zach Green looking to end the contest.
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