BY DARRELL MOODY
By the time Carson High started its twi-night doubleheader with Galena, the Senators knew that they needed to sweep or fall into a first-place tie with arch-rival Douglas.
The Senators did just that, coming from behind in the seventh inning of both games to beat Galena 8-7 and 4-3, spoiling Ron McNutt's return to Ron McNutt Field.
The sweep puts Carson at 10-2 in Sierra League play, a game ahead of Douglas, which improved to 9-3 after its doubleheader sweep of Bishop Manogue.
"The kids knew (about Douglas) and were focused on that," Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. "Our objective is to win two of three. A sweep is great and that's what we got. We need games like that to make us better."
The first game was a nail-bitter throughout. It came down to the final inning which saw two Carson assistants, Chad Eaton and Scott Albin, ejected after arguing with plate umpire Chris Healy.
With Carson leading 6-5 and two outs in the top of the seventh, reliever Cody Barr threw two good curveballs to Luke Hooper which Healy ruled balls. Hooper eventually walked and Josh Evans, who went 4-for-4, singled home a run to make it 6-6. A wild pitch gave Galena a 7-6 lead.
Eaton was ejected moments later when he and Healy were involved in a verbal altercation between innings.
Dustin Buttner stroked a one-out double to left and scored on Matt Rutledge's single to right, barely getting under the tag at home to tie the game at 7. The safe call brought the entire Galena coaching staff onto the field.
Rutledge took second on the throw and Brooks Hutchins was walked intentionally to set up a double play. Albin's ejection came during a break in the action. He was steamed that none of the Galena coaches were ejected for coming onto the field when CHS tied the game.
Beau Bickel relieved Jace Puckett and hit Tyler Smith with a pitch to load the bases. That left it up to Brett Valley who hit a 1-1 flyball deep enough to left to score Rutledge with the game-winner.
In the nightcap, Galena scored two in the second off Rutledge, and the score stood until the sixth when Carson tied the game at 2 on a two-out error.
Galena added one in the top of the seventh to make it 3-2. In the bottom of the inning, Paul Cagle singled home Tommy Preston, who was plunked by Evans, to tie the game at 3. Barr followed with a single, and with the infield drawn in, Buttner hit a groundball between third and short to win it.