RENO - Following its third consecutive loss-a 12-4 decision to Galena on Tuesday - Carson coach Steve Cook decided it was time to clear the air.
"We had a heart to heart as a team," Cook said. "We're a little tired as a squad and with our schedule, we're not going to get any breaks. I told the guys that this is what being a baseball player is about. You're going to have aches and pains till the end of the year.
"They understood. They've all been through a baseball season. We wanted to get back into the W column."
And behind the arms of starter David Eller and closer David Perce, the tenacity of shortstop Markus Adams and the bats of catcher Paul Cagle, second baseman Brett Valley, third baseman Kyle Stone and left fielder Tommy Preston, the Senators did just that on Wednesday.
Carson came together as a team to take a 7-6 victory over Reed Wednesday in the Manogue Tournament at Damonte Ranch High School. With the win, the Senators improved to 6-3 on the season and dropped Reed to 2-4.
Eller (2-0) spread out 10 hits and six runs in six innings and Perce picked up his second save after a one-two-three seventh, in which he got red-hot C.J. Maldonado to chase a curveball, causing him to ground out to first and end the game.
Maldonado, who finished 2-for-4, hit a pair of solo home runs - one in the fourth to make it 6-1 and one in the sixth to whittle Carson's lead to 7-3.
Reed center fielder Cody Cate hit a three-run bomb in the sixth to get the Raiders to within 7-6, but Eller forced Sam Petrie to ground out to third and got Chris Hawthorne on a grounder to shortstop to get out of the inning.
"Eller pitched a good game today," said Cagle, who went 1-for-2 and knocked in what would become the winning run - a single that scored Stone in the top of the sixth, giving his team a 7-3 lead. "He was throwing a lot of strikes. He didn't walk any guys this game. He threw good for this being only his second outing."
Cagle did pretty well himself. He hit a sacrifice fly that scored Drew Good (who finished with two runs), capping off a three-run fourth inning for Carson, which held a 6-0 lead.
Good and Adams scored on a Reed error to go up 2-0 in the first and Valley singled in Preston - who reached on the first of his two triples - to make it 3-0 in the second.
Preston tripled again to lead off the fourth and came home on a Valley double to make it 4-0. Valley later scored with a bases-loaded walk to up the lead to 5-0 in the fourth, when Carson chased out Reed starter Derric Williford.
Williford, who took the loss, gave up five runs (four earned) six hits and three walks. Reliever Aaron Taylor went 3 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and one run. Kyle Wood finished up for the Raiders.
Adams, who suffered a severely broken nose (his doctor told him he had broken every thing in his proboscis that he could) during infield warmups on Tuesday, played on with three stitches in his nose and two black eyes. He finished 1-for-3, hitting a double and picking up the walk that scored Valley.
"Having him back today was good for us," Cook said of Adams. "He played good defense. So did Stone. Tommy Preston had three knocks in the eight-spot. He's seeing fastballs - I hope that continues.
"All the way around, we were better emotionally and in our mental health. We had a little spring in our step."
Cook also singled out the efforts of Perce.
"He had arm trouble early and he worked his butt off to get in there," Cook said. "He has a good, live arm, an unorthodox motion and he throws strikes."
Carson will travel to Manogue High School to face the Miners today.
"Today was an example how not to finish a game," Cagle said. "At least we got it done. It was a good win. It got our morale up a bit. Hopefully we'll have some momentum going in to play Manogue."
Carson-Manogue begins at 3:30 p.m.
DAMONTE RANCH 15, GALENA 13
Brandon Frankel's triple drove in Devin Carter and winning pitcher Anthony Rosa helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly as the Mustangs scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take their school's first-ever win over the Grizzlies baseball team.
"It's good confidence for our kids, knowing they can compete with what I consider one of the best teams in the city," said head coach Jon Polson, who has been the Mustangs' skipper since their first season as a junior varsity squad in 2002. "It's a big accomplishment where we've come since 2002. We've made the playoffs two years in a row, which was unexpected. We hope to continue the trend."
Ray Daniels had a solo homer in the first inning and Cody Stevens knocked in two more runs in the second as Damonte Ranch built a 7-2 lead.
Galena tied the game 7-7 in the third and took a 9-7 lead in the top of the fifth, but the scrappy Mustangs put up six runs in the bottom of the inning for a 13-9 advantage.
The defending Northern 4A champion Grizzlies scored four runs to tie the game in the top of the sixth before Frankel and Rosa took over to give Damonte its historic victory during the Manogue Tournament at Damonte Ranch High School.
CHS JVS SPLIT
Carson beat Wooster 12-5 and lost to Damonte 10-6. Against Wooster, Clay Holton pitched a complete game for the win, striking out five. Anthony Torkeo was 2-for-3 and Connor Beattie, Cameron Mayville, Bryce Altus, Danny Gall and Holton all added a hit.
Against Damonte, Mayville was 3-for-4, Shea Bondi was 2-for-4 and Beattie, Torkeo, Dom Mariani and David Feltner all added a hit. Colby Blueberg struck out three over three innings.