It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Carson Blue Jays will take it.
The Blue Jays jumped to an early 6-1 lead after two innings, fell asleep for the next three innings and then exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat the North Valleys Paw Sox, 13-3, in the opening round of the Reno Knights Memorial Day Classic Thursday at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson, 2-0 overall, faces the Damonte Ranch Rebels today at 5 at Damonte Ranch.
Four of Carson’s starters — Jace Keema, Abel Carter, Luke Myers and Brandon Gagnon — played in the spring football scrimmage which ended up 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. That, and the fact that school is wrapping up, contributed to the uninspired performance.
“We got a (quick) lead and then took our foot off the gas pedal,” Blue Jays coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We picked it up when we needed to.”
And how. The Paw Sox didn’t know what hit them in the sixth inning. Carson led 6-3, but the game was still very much undecided.
Jared Barnard singled and moved to second when Gagnon singled. Jesse Lopez beat out a bunt to load the bases. Bryce Moyle cleared the bases with a double to centerfield to make it 9-3.
Carter singled, Moyle stopping at third. Keema drove home Moyle to make it 10-3. Jayson Artz, pinch-hitting for Trevor Edis, singled to load the bases. Colby Zemp reached on an error, scoring Carter to make it 11-3. Barnard made it 12-3 with a sacrifice fly and Lopez sent the fans home early with a game-ending walk-off single to make it a mercy rule win.
The win went to Derek Schafer, who was pulled after his 82nd pitch. Manoukian said Schafer was on an 80 pitch count. Zemp finished up for Carson.
“I thought Derek threw OK,” Manoukian said. “He needs more time on the mound. That is what this summer is for. We need to play better defense (behind our pitchers).”
Carson made four errors, leading to two unearned runs for North Valleys. Schafer fanned six and allowed just three hits.
North Valleys struggled defensively in the first two innings, making two errors and failing to hold onto a third strike. It helped the Blue Jays carve out an early lead, one which the Paw Sox were unable to overcome.