Nelsen helps Senators win opener
Some big shoes were left to fill in the Carson High School baseball team's lineup when blue chip catcher Owen Brolsma graduated last June.
Dave Nelsen stepped into those shoes nicely in his debut as Carson's starting catcher Thursday night. The senior, who played as a sophomore but sat out last season, hit 2-for-2 with two RBI and played well behind the plate to help the Senators post a 12-2 victory against Bishop, Calif., in the Carson Preseason Tournament at Ron McNutt Field.
"It was awesome to be back and this was a great way to start," Nelsen said. "I worked hard during the offseason to get here. My goal was to become the starting catcher. I got it now and hopefully I can keep the job."
Nelson and the rest of Carson's lineup was impressive at the plate, putting 12 runs and 10 hits on the scoreboard before the game was called in the third inning due to the tournament's 10-run rule.
"I thought we came out and swung our bats well, we were aggressive running the bases and Scott (DeFriez) pitched a good game," Carson coach Ron McNutt said. "So, all in all, I was very pleased with the way we played for our first game."
DeFriez allowed three hits and two unearned runs during his three-inning stint. The 6-foot-4 right-hander struck out five and walked one.
"He threw real well," Nelsen said. "His pitches were working and he was throwing strikes. When he's throwing well, he's going to be hard to hit."
Not only were the Senators up against a Bishop team that advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs last season, they faced a returning all-league pitcher, 6-foot-5 senior left-hander Colby Lehman, through two innings.
"I'm glad we got to see a team of Bishop's caliber," McNutt said. "And that was a quality pitcher they had throwing against us. He threw the ball well."
Aaron Henry hit 3-for-3, leading off each inning with a single, while Willie Bowman hit 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI.
Nelsen slapped a single over third base to drive two runs home and give the Senators a 4-0 first-inning lead. It was a pretty decent start for a player who is replacing Brolsma, who has made an impact as a relief pitcher for the University of Nevada already this season.
"I thought Dave had a great game. He did a great job receiving and stopping some balls behind the plate and hit 2-for-2," McNutt said of Nelsen.
Eric Melendez singled one run home and DeFriez drove another run home with a sacrifice fly as Carson extended its lead to 9-2 in the second.
The Senators scored three more runs in the third. Henry lined a single into left field, Logan Parsley doubled into the right-center field gap, Bowman followed with a two-run triple to right-center and Cameron Leck doubled off the fence in left-center to drive Bowman home with a run to close out the game.
In other tournament games on Thursday, South Tahoe defeated Lassen 6-1, North Tahoe defeated Fallon 8-5, Tahoe-Truckee and Elko played to a 7-7 tie, Lassen defeated Spring Creek 6-1, and Fallon defeated Sparks 16-0.
Carson returns to action with two tournament games today, as the Senators face Spring Creek at 5 p.m. and then Tamalpais (Mill Valley, Calif.) at 7 p.m.
Contact Dave Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1220.