SOUTH TAHOE -- Even though the Carson High baseball team had been struggling at the plate, it was no time to panic.
While the level of competition may have something to do with it, there's no question that the Senators looked much more aggressive at the plate in its three-game series against South Tahoe than it did previously. Carson swept a doubleheader against the Vikings on Saturday, winning 10-3 and 12-0.
Eric Melendez belted a two-run home run, a two-run triple and a two-run single for six RBIs and Aaron Henry belted two homers, including a two-run shot, to lead Carson in game two. Melendez had a shot at hitting for the cycle, but popped up in his last at bat.
Meanwhile, Carson continued to receive solid pitching, with Ryan Henry striking out 10 through six innings to pick up the win in game one. Scott DeFriez pitched a two-hit complete game shutout, striking out six in the nightcap that was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
"We're getting there," Carson coach Ron McNutt said. "A lot of our teams have started off slow.
"They're swinging the bats a little better every day. I don't think we struck out that many times."
Since Reno also swept South Tahoe, Carson (10-3, 5-1 in the Sierra League) needed to sweep the Vikings to keep pace.
"These are three that we had to hvae and these are three that we should win," McNutt said. "If we're going to be competitive and stay with the frontrunners, we've got to beat the teams they beat.
"We've got to worry about ourselves. I was pleased with the performance. It was a great team win, both of them."
In game one, Carson had nine hits, with every starter in the lineup picking up one hit. The Senators took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jon Teeter walked and eventually scored on Willie Bowman's sacrifice fly. Teeter scored on Owen Brolsma's sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 in the third.
Carson scored four runs in the fourth to take a 6-1 lead. Jesse Rasner singled and Neil Holmes belted a two-run double during the rally.
Henry's only mistake came in the fifth when he gave up a two-run homer. South Tahoe's only other run came in the first on the strength of an excuse me, check swing infield single.
"I was pleased with our pitching," McNutt said. "I thought DeFriez threw well and I thought Ryan Henry threw well."
Carson took an 8-3 lead in the sixth on Mike Handley's double, Brolsma's single and Bowman's 390-foot RBI triple to straightaway center field. Teeter belted a two-run triple in the seventh.
Melendez also doubled and Tony Teixeira and Aaron Henry each added one hit. Zach Caron pitched a scoreless seventh.
In the nightcap, Melendez hit a two-run single to give the Senators a 2-0 lead in the first. Carson erupted for six runs in the second. Holmes and Bowman eached belted RBI doubles, Melendez followed with a two-run tripled and Aaron Henry hit a two-run homer.
In the fourth, Bowman doubled. Melendez and Henry then hit back-to-back homers, with Melendez hitting a two-run shot and Henry following with a solo home run. Rasner hit an RBI double later in the inning to make it 12-0.
John Parmenter doubled and Cameron Leck and Brolsma also singled for Carson.
"I thought Melendez, Aaron Henry and Willie Bowman hit the ball hard all day," McNutt said.
CARSON JVS SWEEP
Carson's junior varsity baseball team swept a doubleheader from South Tahoe, winning 10-0 and 10-9. In the opener, Jack Jacquet pitched a complete game shutout in the game that was called after five innings.
Royal Good had three hits, Wes Osmer had two hits and belted a two-run home run, Logan Parsley and Dane Nelson each had two hits and Murphy Gardner, Dan Ford and Kevin Reeder all added on hit.
In the nightcap, Good belted a two-run homer and added an RBI single. Adam Anderson had two hits, including a double, Alex Tanchek and A.J. James each had two hits and Jack Maloney and Jeremiah Teeter each added a hit. Loren Wooldridge was the winning pitcher and Osmer came in to pick up the last two outs for the save.