SPARKS — Close games have been the norm for Carson High in the early stages of the season, and the Senators found themselves in another tight situation on Wednesday night.
Reed had cashed in on three errant pick-off throws by Bryce Moyle to grab a 3-1 lead through four innings, but the Senators scored three times in the top of the seventh inning, and then escaped a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the inning to grab a 4-3 victory at Lee Mitchell Field.
Carson improved to 2-3 and snapped a three-game losing streak in the process. Reed dropped to 2-3. The teams conclude their two-game series tonight at 6 at Ron McNutt Field.
“We have been in close games all five or six games,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We have played with emotion and high energy.”
“It is definitely going to help us later in the year being in all of these close games,” said Moyle, who fanned 13 in six innings in picking up the win. “Coming in after three losses, we were still confident about what we can accomplish.”
Carson had mustered little offense the entire game against righty Jett Brook, who allowed just three hits and two earned runs in 6-plus innings before turning the ball over to Kameron Soubiea.
Brook walked Jace Keema and gave up a bloop single to right-centerfield off the bat of Trevor Edis. Enter Soubiea, who gave up a single to Moyle that loaded the bases. Colby Zemp followed with a two-run single, scoring Keema and courtesy runner Brandon Gagnon to tie the game at 3.
Jared Barnard, who doubled and scored Carson’s first run in the second, forced Zemp at second with Moyle taking third. Kahle Good walked to load the bases. Landon Truesdale was plunked by a pitch to break the deadlock. Jesse Lopez and Abel Carter were retired to end the inning.
The momentum Carson had built with its three-run rally disappeared quickly, as the Raiders loaded the bases against Cole McDannald on an infield single, a bunt single and a muffed sacrifice bunt by McDannald.
Jon Pinto, one of Reed’s top hitters, lined one to the right of second base. Barnard stabbed the ball and doubled the runner at second. The liner almost turned into a game-ending triple play, but Moyle was off the bag when he caught the throw. McDannald retired Lincoln Turner on a pop fly to short right field to end the game and earn the save.
It wasn’t the vintage performance Moyle usually turns in, but it was certainly a gutty one. Moyle threw six innings and allowed zero earned runs in his 106-pitch effort.
“It wasn’t his best performance, but every time he needed to make a good pitch he was able to do that,” Manoukian said.
“I think I executed well,” Moyle said.
“It felt weird the first couple of innings and then I settled in. My game plan was to get them to chase pitches early in the count and get ahead.”
The worst throws Moyle made all night were the three pick-off attempts, and the first two led to Reed scores.
In the first, Moyle tried to pick off Tanner Clabaugh and threw the ball into right field. Clabaugh moved around to third and scored on Turner’s infield out.
Carson knotted the game in the third when Barnard doubled, moved to third on an errant pick-off throw and scored on a wild pitch.
Then came the fourth when Reed went ahead 3-1.
Clabaugh walked and moved to third on Moyle’s pick-off attempt that went down the right-field line. Clabaugh tried to score on Turner’s roller to short. Keema threw a strike to Edis. Clabaugh tried to bowl Edis over, and was not only called out, but ejected.
Turner moved around to third on Joey Brown’s single. A wild pitch that went to the backstop and bounced back to Edis enabled Brown to reach second. With two outs, Moyle bounced a curveball that appeared to bounce off Edis’ mask and rolled toward the Reed dugout.
Both Turner and Brown scored on the play.
“Those (throws) were all my fault,” Moyle said. “I started jogging to third on a couple of them.
“I don’t think Trevor saw the ball (on the wild pitch). I thought we had the second runner out.”
Moyle worked out of a first and third jam in the sixth, striking out Vinnie Fillipone for the third time.
That set the stage for a wild finish.