Carson wins after 'Dustin' off the Raiders
BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
The last time Dustin Buttner pitched he came away from the outing with a tight shoulder.
Buttner showed no signs of shoulder problems Monday night, going five-plus innings and allowing one earned run to spark Carson to a 4-3 nonleague baseball victory over Reed at Ron McNutt Field.
The win, which improved the Senators to 14-9, was their fourth straight, giving them plenty of momentum heading into a three-game series with Sierra League rival Damonte Ranch starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at McNutt Field.
Buttner fanned three and walked one batter before turning the ball over to David Charles, who managed two scoreless innings despite some wildness.
"I did OK," Buttner said. "The team was behind me, getting the plays done. I was throwing (mainly) fastballs."
Buttner was better than OK as far as head coach Steve Cook was concerned.
"He did a fantastic job," Cook said. "The last time he threw he came up sore, so we've been kind of leery of getting him back out there on the hill. We held him out of the Hug game knowing we had this game tonight. We expected to get three maybe four quality innings and he went a strong five.
"We played pretty well tonight. We didn't make many mistakes. There were a couple of balls we shouldn't be misplaying."
And, had it not been for an error to start the sixth, Cook admitted that Buttner might have been able to get through the sixth, too. The Carson right-hander left with a 4-2 lead and the tying run, John Pelino, at first.
C.J. Maldonado was walked by David Charles to load the bases. Casey Yocum followed with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-3. Charles walked Cody Cate, but got Derek Williford to ground into a double play at second to end the inning.
Carson tried to scratch out an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, but Tyler Hutchins popped to second, stranding Tommy Preston, who had singled, at third base.
Charles breezed through the seventh, allowing only one baserunner.
Reed opened the scoring with an unearned run in the second when Yocum was safe on an error, stole second and moved to third on an infield out. With two outs, Tyson Barton, who had walked, broke for second and stayed in the rundown long enough to allow Yocum to score.
Then came the pivotal third inning.
Brett Valley reached on an error and scored when Paul Cagle's drive to right, which should have been a single, was played into a triple by the Reed right fielder, who dove for the ball and missed.
Cody Barr followed with a single to left. Cagle hesitated and then stopped coming around third, but ended up scoring when the Reed left fielder bobbled the ball. Rob Valerius' run-scoring ground-ruled double made it 3-1.
"That (missed diving catch) sparked us," Valerius said. "I think it's the first time Cody and I have gone back-to-back. Usually it's just one or the other."
"That was the game there I guess," Cook said. "We were able to take advantage of a couple of mistakes. We were still trying to put up some runs."
Carson made it 4-1 in the fourth when Preston , who went 2-for-2, doubled and came around to score on Drew Good's sacrifice fly.
The Raiders scratched across a run in the fifth when Williford doubled and moved to third on Barton's single. Buttner induced Kyle Wood to hit into a double play and Fabian Reza fanned to end the inning.
Buttner left in the sixth after an error and single. Charles was able to escape with minimal damage.
Preston led Carson with two hits, while Valley, Barr and Valerius added one hit apiece.
• Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281