It was a Senior Night Cody Azevedo won’t soon forget.
Azevedo, playing in his last regular-season game ever at Ron McNutt Field, drove in seven runs with two doubles and a single to spark Carson High to a 17-7 win over arch-rival Douglas on a rainy Thursday night.
The win gives Carson a 16-6 regular-season mark, the most wins in Bryan Manoukian’s tenure as head coach. The Senators will sit back and wait to see what spot they will finish. If Manogue knocks off Reno, Carson would be the No. 2 seed based on its sweep of Reno. If Reno wins the second game of the series against Bishop Manogue, the Senators would be the No. 3 seed.
It was a night that belonged to Azevedo, however, though the other CHS seniors — Connor Pradere, Kyle Krebs, Terek Been, John Holton, Joe Nelson and Kyle Gagnon — all made contributions in the mercy rule win.
It was Azevedo’s single to right field that provided the 10-run margin in the bottom of the fifth inning in a game that had a 40-minute rain delay as well as other field-fixing delays.
“I don’t think so,” Azevedo said when asked if he’d ever driven in seven runs before at any level. “I really don’t keep track of what I’ve done during a game, I just try to focus on getting a hit each at-bat. The second one (a bases-loaded double) I forgot how many runners were on.
“It’s super exciting that it was Senior Night, especially that it was against Douglas and on a day like today with all the weather.”
Nobody was happier than Manoukian.
“I’m really happy for him,” the CHS coach said. “He’s been forced to take so many pitches (hitting behind Connor Pradere) he could have hit. I told him tonight I didn’t want him to let any fastballs go by.”
Carson scored in four straight innings (second through the fifth), and Azevedo had a hand in three of those rallies.
Azevedo’s onslaught started in the second inning. His two-run double, Holton’s run-scoring triple and Nelson’s sacrifice fly sparked a four-run second inning that was helped along by two DHS errors.
The four-run outburst was more than enough for starter Nelson, who picked up the second win of the season. Nelson hurled three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk. He left with a 9-0 lead after CHS scored five more runs in the third.
Jace Keema walked, advanced to second on a single by Holton and scored on a single by Gagnon to make it 5-0. After Jesse Lopez forced Holton at third, Pradere walked to load the bases. All three runners trotted home on Azevedo’s double to right-centerfield. Krebs followed with a run-scoring single to cap the rally.
Trevor Edis came on to start the fourth, and didn’t finish the inning, as Douglas struck for seven runs on just three hits plus two errors by Holton.
Edis walked three batters and allowed run-scoring hits by Hunter Simpson and Tomas Leitenbauer. The Tigers sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, making the Senators sweat a bit.
Haydn Brown relieved Haden Keller to start the bottom of the fourth, and he didn’t have good luck. Carson loaded the bases on a walk to Jared Barnard, a single by the hot-hitting Holton and an error.
With the count 3-1, Gagnon swung at a pitch and the bat went flying all the way down to the third-base coaching box. At that point, the umpires called for play to be suspended, and the CHS players put the tarp back on the field.
Following an approximate 40-minute delay, Gagnon walked to force in a run. to make it 10-7. Bryce Moyle made it 12-7 with a two-run single. The next three CHS hitters were retired.
Derek Schafer, who had relieved Edis in the fourth, pitched a scoreless fifth. He allowed hits to Ayden Murphy and Kindel Isham before retiring the side.
The Senators ended it in the fifth with five runs thanks to a run-scoring out by Schafer, a run-scoring single by Moyle, a run-scoring single by Pradere and a two-run single by Azevedo to end the lengthy rain-delayed game.
“We won two more regular-season games than we did last year,” Manoukian said after conducting Senior Night festivities following the game. “This was a team that came out and grinded every game; they got better every game. Now, we’ll take a couple of days to see where we end up and who we play. It is all out of our hands.”
Carson does have a home playoff opener, and that’s huge. Carson lost just one home league game (Reed) all season.