Late Carson rally falls just short in loss to Fallon
By Charles Whisnand
Appeal Sports Editor
It's one of the most overused cliches in sports, but the term couldn't be more appropriate when Carson High School baseball coach Steve Cook was describing what his team was lacking.
The sense of urgency that the Senators had during their thrilling 7-6 loss to Galena on Saturday just wasn't there on Monday. And despite a late rally, Carson lost to Fallon 11-10 at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson's pitchers walked eight batters, hit two others while the Senators made five errors. All that was just too much to overcome.
"We know that we've got to come out to play from the first pitch to the last out," Cook said. "The sense of urgency didn't seem to be there on the first pitch."
And Carson doesn't have too long to lick its wounds as it has a rematch at 3:30 p.m. today with Galena at Manogue in the Manogue Tournament.
"We're not going to be able to sit back on this and feel sorry for ourselves by any means," Cook said. "The good thing is we get to play tomorrow. We don't have to sit on this. I think we'll be all right. We're going to turn this negative into a positive."
Despite how they struggled through six innings, the Senators almost rallied for the win in the seventh inning. Carson showed some life in the top of the seventh when second baseman Brett Valley made a spectacular diving catch in shallow right field and turned a double play when he forced the runner at first.
Paul Cagle began the rally in the bottom of the seventh when he led off with a double. After Rob Valerius walked, pinch runner Tyler Hutchins scored on a dropped popup to make it 11-7.
That's when Fallon's Danny Bright was pulled. Bright had effectively shut down Carson while striking out five after coming on in the fourth inning.
Carson continued to rally, though, as David Eller walked to load the bases. Valley followed by reaching on an infield single and two runs scored after a throwing error on the play.
That made the score 11-9 and after Drew Good was hit by a pitch, Carson had the bases loaded with one out.
Trent Blackwater came on and forced a popup before walking Kyle Stone to force in a run. But Blackwater got Cagle to ground out to end the game.
Starting pitcher Tyler Smith got off to a shaky start when he failed to touch the bag while covering at first on a groundball to first baseman Valerius. Smith then made his second error when he threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt.
After another error and a walk, Colton Oney hit a three-run double to give Fallon a 3-0 lead. Carson answered in the bottom of the first on Stone's two-run home run after Markus Adams walked.
Trevor de Braga's RBI double gave Fallon a 4-2 lead in the second. Smith went two innings, allowing one earned run while striking out two and walking four.
Valley doubled and Adams hit an RBI single to pull Carson to within 4-3 in the bottom of the second.
Cody Barr came on and got in trouble in the third when he hit two batters. That led to Jeff Lister's two-run single that gave Fallon a 6-3 lead.
Carson had an excellent chance to change the momentum of the game in the bottom of the third when it had runners at first and third with no outs. But starting pitcher John Ingersoll escaped the jam without the Senators scoring.
Ingersoll was pulled in the fourth after hitting Good with a pitch. Bright came on and after uncorking a wild pitch, gave up Adams' bunt single.
Good scored on a wild pitch and Adams, who was running on the pitch, advanced all the way to third on the play. Adams then scored on another wild pitch to make it 6-5. But Bright then settled down, pitching effectively into the seventh.
Fallon took command in the fifth on de Braga's three-run double and Charlie Hejny's RBI single. The Greenwave took an 11-5 lead in the sixth on an unearned run. Good walked, stole second and third and scored on a fielder's choice to make it 11-6 in the bottom of the sixth.
Cagle, Valley and Adams all had two hits for Carson (5-2) while David Perce finished up on the mound for the Senators, allowing one unearned run over two innings. Barr struck out four over three innings.