It was time for everyone to spring forward today. One would have to believe that the Carson High baseball team would like to bottle this performance and move it forward a couple of months - say on the second Saturday of May in the Northern 4A championship game.
Carson played on even terms for eight innings against defending Northern 4A champion and NIAA 4A State runnerup Galena in its own preseason tournament. But in the end, the Senators couldn't overcome the bat of Jacob Anderson, who had three hits and four RBI, including the game-winning home run in the eighth as the Grizzlies prevailed 7-6 in extra innings at Ron McNutt Field.
And the Senators receive the chance to do it all over again. After facing Fallon at 6 p.m. Monday at McNutt Field to conclude its tournament, Carson will begin play in the Manogue Tournament against Galena at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Manogue.
"I thought we played pretty well," Carson coach Steve Cook said. "We see those guys again in two days.
"That was the biggest test of the year for us by a long shot. We went toe-to-toe for eight innings with Galena and didn't blink."
Matt Rutledge gave Carson a valiant effort, striking out six over seven innings while Kevin Vilkin gave Galena an outstanding five innings.
"I was very happy with the way he threw," said Cook about Rutledge. "He did a real good job for us overall I thought."
David Charles came on in the eighth and got a strikeout and a popup before allowing Anderson's homer. Charles then got another strikeout to end the inning.
Carson still had a chance to at least tie the game in the bottom of the eight with Drew Good at third and one out. But Good was forced out on a botched suicide squeeze attempt, which effectively ended the threat.
Rutledge was greeted by a triple by Eric Underwood to begin the game in the first inning. But Underwood was left stranded at third.
He had to hold at third on Pete Lazarri's groundout to third baseman Kyle Stone. Rutledge then got Scott Underwood on a popup and caught Jake Hess looking to end the inning.
Vilkin allowed just an infield single to Stone through the first four innings. Stone advanced to second on a passed ball and then Vilkin was aided by an outstanding defensive play by Lazzari at shortstop.
Lazzari made a diving stop of Rob Valerius' shot up the middle to rob him of an RBI single and threw Valerius out to end the inning.
Galena took a 2-0 lead in the fifth, with one of the runs being unearned. Max Landis doubled and scored on Jacob Anderson's RBI single. Anderson advance to second on an error on the play. Underwood then hit an RBI single to make it 2-0.
But Carson came back to tie the score 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Tommy Preston singled and eventually scored on Markus Adams' RBI double. Adams advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Paul Cagle's perfectly executed suicide squeeze.
The Grizzlies appeared to have taken control when they scored four runs in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. After Scott Underwood singled and Hess walked, Anderson hit an RBI single to make it 3-2. After Luke Hess was hit by a pitch, Stephen Biehle followed with a two-run single and another run scored on an error to make it 6-2.
But Carson fought back to tie the score again in the bottom of the sixth. Eric Underwood came on and appeared to be in control after Dustin Buttner walked. Underwood had two outs, but Good hit an RBI double and Markus Adams followed with an RBI double.
Stone walked and then a wild pitch gave Carson runners at second and third. Biehle then made an outstanding play at second to rob Cagle of a game-tying two-run single.
But then Biehle threw the ball away, allowing both runs to score, forcing the 6-6 tie. Rutledge and Underwood both went on to pitch a scoreless seventh. Cody Barr added a hit for Carson.
CARSON 13, LOWRY 1
Tyler Hutchins pitched a complete game, striking out four over four innings. Buttner hit a three-run home run to give Carson a 7-0 lead in the first. Stephen Sawyers went 2-for-2 with a double, Cagle and Barr each had two hits and Preston and Charles each added a hit.