There's no denying it's always hard to become fired up to play Hug, but with the Carson High baseball team in the middle of a playoff race, the Senators had no trouble with motivation.
Carson rolled to a doubleheader sweep of Hug on Saturday at Ron McNutt Field, winning the opener 20-1 and then rested virtually all of its starters on its way to a 15-0 win in the nightcap. The Senators finished off a three-game sweep to improve to 12-6 in the Sierra League and are fighting for one of four spots into the Northern 4A playoffs.
Second place Damonte Ranch entered Saturday's doubleheader with Douglas at 12-4, North Valleys entered a doubleheader with Wooster on Saturday at 10-6 and Reno High entered a doubleheader with South Tahoe on Saturday at 9-7.
Carson finishes the regular season with three games against Damonte Ranch while North Valleys finishes with Douglas and Reno finishes with Hug. The Senators will first play a nonleague game at 6 p.m. Monday at Reed.
"We stayed on it," said Carson coach Steve Cook about his team keeping its focus on Saturday. "We just had to take care of business. They didn't stop playing.
"We did what we had to do. We know we've got to get ready for next week. We've got a big series with Damonte."
In the opener, Nick Smallman carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, allowing a bloop singled down the right field line with two outs. He settled for a complete game two-hitter, allowing one unearned run and striking out six over five innings.
Smallman received plenty of support as the Senators belted five home runs, including a grand slam by Kyle Mandoki. Markus Adams, Bryt Lewis and Tony Fagan all singled before David Leid walked to force in a run in the first and Mandoki hit a two-run double to make it 4-0.
Kyle Stone homered, Brooks Greenlee singled and Lewis hit a two-run double to make it 7-0 in the second. Carson exploded for 10 runs in the third as Mandoki and Stone singled and Greenlee hit a two-run double. Mandoki's grand slam made it 15-0 and Paul Cagle's two-run shot made it 17-0.
In the fourth, Brett Valley singled, Tyler Smith followed with a two-run homer and Stephen Sawyers hit a solo shot to make it 20-0.
Mandoki had three hits and six RBI and Greenlee, Adams, Lewis and Stone all had two hits.
Fagan started the nightcap, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out three. Stone pitched two scoreless innings and Rob Valerius finished up, retiring the side in order in the fifth while striking out one.
David Eller's RBI single gave Carson a 1-0 lead in the first and Drew Good's RBI singled made it 2-0 in the second. In the fifth, Matt Rutledge, Eller and Smith all singled and Kevin Holloway hit a two-run single during a three-run rally that made it 5-0 in the third.
Carson broke the game open with 10 runs in the fourth as Good led off with a homer. Rutledge doubled, Cagle hit an RBI single, Eller singled, Valley had an RBI single, Sawyers singled, Cody Bone hit an RBI single, Rutledge had an RBI single in his second at-bat of the inning, Valerius hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Eller belted a two-run double to make it 15-0.
Rutledge and Eller each had three hits and Good, Bone and Valley all added two hits. "They played very well, I thought," said Cook about his players off the bench who started the nightcap.
"We did a good job," Cook also said about the whole team. "We came in here knowing that we had to take three."