Carson Bluejays gear up for High Sierra Classic

RENO — The Carson Blue Jays started Monday’s game scoring six runs in both the first and second inning.

And that was a good thing, because after the early outburst the Blue Jays’ offense struggled and had to hold off a late rally to grab a 15-11 win over the Galena Cubs.

The game was a tune-up for the annual High Sierra Classic which starts Thursday at Bishop Manogue. Carson starts play at 12:30 p.m. and will play five games in four days.

“No lead is safe in this park,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We had a decent offensive day. We struggled a little bit against Reno, and hits were hard to come by. We came out today and swung the bats pretty well.”

Carson managed 18 hits, 13 of those coming in the first two innings when it bolted to a 12-5 lead and knocked Jared Kiesling out of the game. Jace Keema and Connor Pradere led the hit parade with three apiece.

Pradere singled to open the game, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a hit by Kyle Krebs, who took second on the throw home. After Joe Nelson was retired on a fly to center, John Holton was hit by a pitch and Abel Carter was walked to load the bases.

Keema drove in two with a single to make it 3-0, and Terek Been singled home a run to make it 4-0. Jared Barnard and Pradere drove in the final two runs of the inning.

The Cubs racked up five runs off Krebs in the bottom of the inning, the big blow being a two-run homer by Charles Douglas.

In the second, Krebs led off with a single and scored on Nelson’s towering homer to left field to make it 8-5. Holton singled and Carter sent him to third with a single. Carter took second on the throw. Been’s infield roller to second scored the third run of the inning, and Barnard plated one more with a double to make it 10-5. Brandon Gagnon followed with another double and Pradere drove in another run to complete the outburst.

Carson made it 13-5 with a run in the third off reliever Kurt Young, who slowed down Carson’s offense nicely in his 3.1-inning stint.

Galena scored two unearned runs off reliever Derek Schafer in the bottom of the fourth to make it 13-7, and added four off Cole McDonald and Carter in the fifth to make it 13-11. Austin Wickham’s two-run double was the big blow in the fifth.

The Blue Jays put the game away with run scoring singles in the sixth by Keema and by Nelson in the seventh.

Cody Azevedo threw two stellar innings of relief to pick up the save, as the Cubs failed to score in their final two at-bats.

Jays split with Knights

On Sunday, the Blue Jays split a doubleheader with the Reno Knights, losing the opener 4-3 and taking the second game, 5-3.

In the second game, Holton threw just 75 pitches, allowing three runs and six hits. He had pinpoint control, walking just one batter. He had a 1-hitter through five innings.

Nelson gave the Jays a 1-0 lad with a sacrifice fly in the first, and a two-out error plus singles by Cody Azevedo and Pradere accounted for two more runs in the third and a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, Azevedo’s two-run single made it 5-0. Reno scored all three of its runs in the seventh.

Azevedo went 3-for-3 and Pradere went 2-for-3.

In the opener, the Knights scored two in the seventh to wipe out a 3-2 deficit.

Carson outhit Reno, 8-5, as Pradere, Nelson, Holton and Azevedo each had two hits.

Bryce Moyle took the loss, allowing just two earned runs and five hits.


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