Tigers jump on Senators early for win
By Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN - In each of the past four years, the Thursday game of the Carson-Douglas baseball series has either come down to the final inning or has gone into extra innings.
So when the Senators loaded the bases with no out in the top of the seventh inning with No. 5 hitter Rob Valerius coming to the plate Thursday afternoon, no one would have faulted Douglas coach John Glover for making a quick change on the mound to guard an 8-1 lead.
The only thing was, that's not what Glover decided to do.
After a brief conference at the mound, Glover left Tiger starter Tyler May in the game and May recorded outs during the next three at-bats while allowing only one more run to cross to seal an 8-2 win for Douglas in Minden.
"I was getting scared that coach might pull me out because I really wanted to finish this one out," May said. "Coach gave the chance to finish it.
"He just asked how I was feeling, I said I was fine and he said he'd give me one more batter to work it out."
Valerius poked a fielder's choice out into the infield, where he was thrown out at first, but Markus Adams came across to score.
May then struck out Cody Barr and induced Brett Valley into a groundball to short to end the game.
"He wanted the ball at the end there," Glover said of May. "I like guys that want to have the ball. That shows some character for him.
"We just talked about using the defense, not trying to do too much and more than anything just competing and finishing the job. He was able to do that."
It was May's second complete game in less than a week. He shut down Wooster Saturday.
"Everything was working today," May said. "I was throwing my fastball hard, it was just every now and then I'd let a pitch slip."
May finished with five strikeouts and while he worked himself deep into the count consistently against the Senators, he didn't issue a walk until the fifth inning. He finished with just two walks.
While May was solid on the mound, the Douglas offense was able to manufacture the runs it needed to in order to get out in front.
"They created their own breaks," Carson coach Steve Cook said of the Tigers. "They are a well-coached team and very disciplined. They didn't do anything that surprised us. It just comes down to which kids show up to play and their side did."
The Tigers got on the board in the first after catcher Jordan Hadlock led off with a double off the wall in left center field.
Tanner Thomas sacrificed Hadlock to third and Hadlock came around to score on a passed ball during the next at bat.
Douglas picked it back up in the second in what was probably the difference in the game.
Jeff Crozier looped a one-out single into right, stole second and advanced to third on the misfired pickoff attempt.
Kameron VanWinkle singled to bring Crozier home and Beau Davis later drew a two-out walk.
Hadlock drew another walk to load the bases and Thomas blooped an infield single to bring VanWinkle across.
Tim Rudnick wrapped up the scoring in the inning with a single to right to bring Davis and Hadlock in.
"When you get guys up and down the order partaking like that, it's great," Glover said. "Just relying on one or two guys to get it done is a very difficult thing to do."
Carson battled back in the top of the third, getting a Kyle Stone single to drive in Tommy Preston. Stone went 3-for-4 on the afternoon to lead the Senators.
Douglas brought two more runs across in the bottom half of the third on a Beau Davis sacrifice fly and a chopper up the middle from Hadlock.
Crozier brought Douglas' final run across on a bases-loaded sac fly in the bottom of the sixth.
"We were hitting the ball, just looping it here and there," May said. "Some sac flies, dropping some bunts down, we were just able to get the job done."
Carson put together its seventh-inning threat after Adams reached on an error to lead off. Stone then singled up the middle and Paul Cagle drew a walk to load the bases.
"We were chasing seven runs at that point, so we couldn't start bunting and running," Cook said. "You have to play station-to-station baseball and sting some knocks together. We got a couple, but we needed a whole bunch more to get back into it."
The two teams will meet up for a doubleheader in Carson Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
"We'll just keep doing what we're doing," Cook said. "We don't have to make any wholesale changes. We made a couple of errors that we shouldn't have made and those guys extended their innings well. We just have to get back to work tomorrow during practice."
Glover's sentiments were much the same.
"Carson is a really, really good team," he said. "We have a ton of respect for them. It's never over until the last out is recorded. They have guys in their lineup that can really swing the bat.
"It's a business approach. We'll go in there and try to play hard, try to take care of what we need to take care of and not worry about the things we can't control."