The Carson High baseball team continued to hold its own against some top competition at the Toyo National Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
Carson split two games in the tournament on Wednesday and Thursday to ironically set up a showdown with Reno High today in the final day of the event. But the Senators also suffered a costly loss as centerfielder and leadoff hitter Aaron Henry broke his ankle and was lost for the season.
The Senators held their own in an 11-7 loss against tournament host El Dorado on Wednesday and came back to rout Iloni, N.Y. 20-8 on Thursday. Carson (16-6) and Reno have both gone 1-2 in the tournament so far heading into their game at 2 p.m. today.
Reno's ace Jeff Schoenbachler pitched on Wednesday for Reno, so he won't pitch against the Senators. Wes Osmer will start on the mound against Reno.
Against El Dorado, the difference came when El Dorado used three Carson errors to score five runs all after there were two outs in the second inning. Jason Alcasas deserved a better fate after going six innings for Carson and Josh Caron pitched a scoreless seventh.
"He did a good job," said Carson coach Ron McNutt about Caron. "Alcasas did a great job. It was really a good ball game.
"We had every chance in the world to win. I'm not going to make any excuses for anybody. In baseball you've got to make those plays. We played well except for the second inning."
Henry suffered his injury against El Dorado when he turned his ankle crossing first base. "It's a tough break for a kid who's a senior," McNutt said. "It's costly to our ball club. It's just one of those freak things. He's worked hard all year."
Against El Dorado, Eric Melendez, who also had an outstanding game against Iloni, had two hits and a double, Cameron Leck had a two-run double, Willie Bowman hit a two-run home run and Jeff Hurzel hit a solo homer.
Mike Handley was the winning pitcher against Iloni, allowing three earned runs over six innings. Kyle Mandoki pitched a scoreless seventh. "Mike threw a real good ball game," McNutt said.
Danny Rotter replaced Henry in centerfield and Royal Good replaced Henry as the leadoff hitter as the designated hitter. Good filled in well for Henry, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and an RBI.
Melendez had three hits, including a double, and five RBI, Bowman had three hits and two RBI, Handley hit a solo homer, Hurzel doubled, Kevin Schlange had a hit and an RBI and Rotter added a hit. "We were in complete control of the ball game from the first inning on," McNutt said.