Jack Jacquet pitched a pretty good game for the Carson High baseball team on Friday night. Joe Gustin of Lassen (Susanville, Calif.) was just a little better, as he pitched a complete game shutout to beat the Senators 3-0 during the Carson Preseason Tournament.
Gustin scattered four hits over five innings and helped his own cause with the bat and glove to best Jacquet in a duel of junior pitchers at Ron McNutt Field.
"We just didn't get it done tonight," said Carson coach Steve Cook, whose club dropped to 2-1 on the season. "And I'll take that on myself. We're a young team and we need to make sure we come prepared to play every time out."
At the same time, the coach tipped his hat to Gustin's pitching performance.
"That No. 7 did a great job," Cook said. "He controlled the pace of the game. He worked a lot quicker than our kids are used to."
The junior right-hander, in his first season at Lassen after moving from Kentucky, struck out seven and walked three. He also collected two hits and scored both times, plus he tagged out the potential game-tying run at home to end the fourth inning.
"He was outstanding," Lassen coach Scott Dwyer said of Gustin. "What can you say when he hits every spot you call. He hit all his spots tonight and he was able to throw his breaking ball over for strikes.
"At the same time, I must commend their pitcher (Jacquet). He did a real good job of keeping our hitters off balance all night."
Jacquet, a 6-foot-2 junior right-hander, allowed two hits and one unearned run during his four innings. He struck out two and walked only one.
Lassen scored once in the top of the first inning when Gustin hit a leadoff single and scored on an error.
Carson threatened in the second, but left runners stranded on first and third when Gustin rang up a called strike-three to end the inning. Carson's Brooks Greenlee walked with one out in the third, but was thrown out trying to steal second by Lassen catcher Chance Loflin. Then in the fourth, Wes Osmer and Murph Gardner connected for back-to-back singles, but Osmer was caught at the plate when Loflin scrambled to recover a loose ball and threw a strike back to Gustin covering the plate.
"Chance is our sparkplug," Dwyer said of the junior catcher. "He's a bulldog who never gives up."
The Grizzlies added two more runs in the fifth, aided by Nick Nyman's RBI double and an error that brought another run home. Sophomore reliever Nick Smallman was able to avoid further damage as he worked out of a bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
Adam Anderson walked and Greenlee singled for Carson with two outs in the fifth before Gustin retired the side with a called strikeout.
Osmer hit 2-for-2 to lead Carson offensively.
"Carson is the best team we've played so far," said Dwyer, whose Grizzlies improved their season record to 5-2. "They are well coached and well balanced. They came after us and made us work. I'd have to say this is the best game we've played yet."
Cook says the young Senators, who only have five seniors on their 21-player roster, will improve with time.
"These guys are gonna learn and we, as a coaching staff, are going to learn what they can do with each game," he said.
Note: Junior center fielder and leadoff hitter Royal Good jammed his shoulder Thursday night in a head-first slide at first base against Tahoe-Truckee and was given the night off against Lassen as a precautionary measure.
n Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.
Field 1: Elko-Lassen, 9 a.m.; Pershing County-Elko, 11; Tamalpais-North Tahoe, 1 p.m.; Sparks-Fallon, 3; Dayton-Carson, 5; South Tahoe-Carson, 7.
Field 2: Sparing Creek-Pershing County, 9 a.m.; Tamalpais-Spring Creek, 11; Truckee-Dayton, 1; Damonte Ranch-Truckee, 3.