While other teams in the Northern 4A playoff race in the Sierra League could be knocking each other off this week, the Carson High baseball team has a chance to strengthen its postseason position against the league's worst team.
Carson made sure it would keep pace with a 20-3 win at Hug on Thursday to improve to 10-6 in league. The Senators will host Hug in a doubleheader at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ron McNutt Field. Carson needs to finish the sweep heading into a key three-game series next week with one of the Sierra League frontrunners, Damonte Ranch.
"We did a good job staying focused for the most part in the game," Carson coach Steve Cook said. "We have a great opportunity. We've got to stay focused and play. If we do that we'll be sitting in a pretty good spot next week."
Matt Rutledge was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs on six hits over five innings, striking out six while walking two. Kyle Mandoki came on to pitch a scoreless sixth in the game that was called after six innings due to the mercy rule.
Carson jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning when Kyle Stone singled, David Leid hit an RBI single, Paul Cagle singled, Rob Valerius hit a two-run double and Nick Smallman had a two-run single.
The Senators made it 10-0 in the second when Markus Adams tripled and scored Stone's single. Tony Fagan doubled, Leid hit a two-run triple and Cagle belted a two-run home run. David Eller homered to make it 11-1 in the third.
Carson took a 20-3 lead by scoring nine runs in the sixth. Nick Smallman singled and Eller, Brooks Greenlee and Tyler Smith all walked to force in a run. Cody Bone was hit by a pitch to force in another run, Kevin Holloway hit a two-run single, Stephen Sawyers had an RBI single, Smallman had an RBI double and Mandoki hit an RBI single during the rally.
Smallman had three hits and four RBI, Sawyers went 2-for-3 with a double, Cagle, Greenlee, Leid and Stone were all 2-for-2 and Bone added a hit.