There is one basic goal anytime the Carson High baseball team comes to bat - to score at least one run in every inning.
Well, the Senators batted .833 in that department on Saturday when they scored in 10 of 12 innings on their way to sweeping a Sierra League doubleheader at home against North Valleys 13-6 and 13-4.
Even though Carson put a goose egg on the scoreboard in the first inning of the opener and another zero in the bottom of the sixth in the nightcap, the Senators managed to touch home in every other at-bat to improve their league record to 6-0 (17-2 overall). That's the type of consistency coach Steve Cook has looked for since the start of the season.
"We figure if we can score one run in every inning, we're going to win a lot of ball games," Cook said of the team goal. "We didn't play pretty baseball today. Our defense wasn't stellar (seven errors in two games) and our pitching wasn't particularly sharp, but we're still producing hits and scoring runs in bunches."
The Senators scored in bunches - eight times to be exact - during their pivotal third-inning rally in game two. North Valleys (0-7 league) had scored twice in the top half of the third to tie the score 2-2 and had retired the first two batters in the bottom half of the inning when Murphy Gardner came up and singled to center.
"Their pitcher had gotten two outs on two pitches, so Cook told me to take a pitch," Gardner said. "I just wanted to get a hit. We didn't want to let him get out of there with an easy inning. We wanted to take the momentum back."
Brooks Greenlee followed with an infield hit and Gardner advanced to third on an error. Sean Costella's single to center drove in the go-ahead run and Derek Shoaf hit a two-run single that fell just inside the right field line. Jeremiah Teeter reached on a bunt single, Royal Good hit an RBI single center and Kevin Schlange was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Logan Parsley, who laced a double to the left field fence to score all three runners. Gardner came up again and singled to left to cap the rally.
"We bunt, we run, we just seem to find ways to score runs," Gardner said.
Nine Senators contributed to a 14-hit attack in the second game. Good went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Parsley 1-for-3 with three RBIs, Gardner 2-for-3 with two runs scored, Greenlee 2-for-3 with three runs scored, Costella 1-for-2, Chris Ames 2-for-3 (his first two hits of the season), Shoaf 1-for-2 with two RBIs, Joe Skates 1-for-3 and Teeter 2-for-2 with two walks and one RBI.
Kyle Mandoki, Josh Caron and Nick Smallman combined to pitch seven-hit ball in the second game. Mandoki started and worked three innings before Caron came on to throw two innings, and Smallman finished up by retiring six of the seven batters he faced.
In game one, Schlange went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, a double, two runs scored and two stolen bases to lead Carson offensively. Shoaf also went 2-for-2 to aid Carson's seven-hit attack.
North Valleys took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Doug Mott's two-run homer. Carson answered with one run in the second inning and then took the lead for good with two more runs in the third. The Senators broke the game open with four runs in the sixth, keyed by three successive extra base hits - Alex Tanchek's double, a two-run double by Schlange and Parsley's triple to right-center.
Jack Jacquet pitched five innings to pick up the win, while Skates threw the final two.
"We need to sweep these games if we want to keep up with the Woosters, Douglas' and Reno's in our league," Cook said. "We are satisfied with the wins, but we still have a lot of room left for improvement because we have a lot of big games coming up. We have McQueen on Tuesday and then an improving South Tahoe team after that (on Thursday and Saturday)."
After that, the Senators finish their league season against Wooster (April 21 and 23), Reno (April 28-29) and Douglas (May 5 and 7).
n Contact Dave Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-1220.