After losing the first game of a doubleheader to the Carson Capitols - then finding his team well on the road toward losing another - Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson was perhaps a little relieved to see some thunder and lightning on Wednesday.
The Capitols completed a four-game series sweep against Elk Grove. They followed up two wins the night before with a 6-1 victory in the opener, then took an 11-3 lead in the second game before the game was called due to weather. The Caps actually won that second game by forfeit, as Carlson signaled to the ump to call the game because of poor weather conditions, including rain, thunder and lightning that lit up the late afternoon sky.
"He (Carlson) said that he was just down in Arizona last week and went through this, and the lightning just scared him really bad," said Capitols coach Ron McNutt of the decision to end the game.
In the second game, Elk Grove took a 1-0 lead in the first after Caps starting pitcher Tim Priess gave up a leadoff home run to Paul Siewart.
In the bottom of the first, the Capitols jumped all over Elk Grove starting pitcher Mike Nelson. Dustin Pedroia started things off with a leadoff double, and Pat Reilly hit a RBI single that scored Pedroia. Joe Mercer followed with a two-run homer that seemed to frazzle Nelson and made the score 3-0.
On his next pitch, Nelson hit Joe Jacobitz in the head, who then stole second before Dustin Hahn hit a RBI double that scored the runner.
Nelson hit his second batter of the inning when he pelted Jonathan Fender, which put runners on first and second. Rusty Miller then stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run double, scoring Hahn and Fender to increase the Caps' lead to 6-1.
Carlson yanked Nelson and inserted Mark Peterson to alleviate his team's woes, but the Capitols weren't done. After Peterson struck out Anthony Carano, Elk Grove second basemen John Kowski made an error that scored two more runs, which ended the Caps' first-inning spree.
In the second, Hahn, Miller, and Carano each hit solo home runs to increase the lead to 11-1.
Elk Grove hinted at making a comeback in the third when Priess walked the first batter and hit Siewart to put runners on first and second. But two runs off RBI singles from Nelson and Mark McLeuich was all that Elk Grove could muster, and Carlson had seen enough.
"He said that he didn't want to play anymore and that he wasn't going to catch us," McNutt said.
The first game started out almost the same, but instead of Elk Grove hitting a home run, Pedroia (3-for-3 in the first game) smacked a leadoff homer to put the Capitols up 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
Pedroia then hit a two-run single in the second, scoring Fender and Brett McMillan to make the score 3-0.
Capitol starting pitcher Thrace Ramsey gave up one run in the fourth but struck out four batters, and kept the Elk Grove batters in check.
McMillan singled in the fifth, then advanced to third base after a Pedroia double. Later in the inning, Dan Gubbels' RBI single scored McMillan and increased the Caps' lead to 4-1.
Elk Grove reliever Joe DiPirro walked Joe Mercer to begin the fifth, then Mercer stole second. Mercer advanced to third on a fielder's choice before DiPirro walked Hahn, putting runners on first and third. Hahn was caught by a DiPirro pickoff move and thrown out at second, but Mercer still scored on the play.
Reilly, who replaced Gubbels in left field, scored in the sixth off a DiPirro passed ball, which finished the scoring at 6-1.
The Capitols will play a doubleheader at 5 p.m. today and Friday against Sierra College (Rocklin, Calif.), with all games at Carson High School.