Carson baseball comes up short
RENO – The Carson High School baseball team got on the scoreboard first and last Friday afternoon. It’s just that in between, the Sierra League-leading Reno Huskies were dominant on their way to sweeping a doubleheader from the Senators at Zunini Field, 10-3 and 12-9.
Reno (11-1 league, 25-3 overall) rallied from a 1-0 deficit and scored 10 runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to win game one. Then, after spotting Carson a 2-0 first-inning lead of the nightcap, the Huskies answered with three runs in the bottom half of the first and added four more runs in the second to take a 7-2 lead.
Carson did make things interesting in the seventh inning when the Senators scored five runs and had the tying run at the plate before junior reliever John Wallace slammed the door shut.
The last-ditch rally at the end of the day offered some consolation for Carson coach Ron McNutt, whose club dropped into fourth-place in the league race (7-5 league, 20-10 overall), but this wasn’t a day when he was looking for moral victories.
“We scored some runs back, but the damage was done in the first two innings,” McNutt said in looking back on the second game. “The bottom line is, we’ve got to make the plays. If we make the plays, we’re in the game.”
Carson took a 2-0 lead in the first when Eric Melendez walked and Willie Bowman reached on an error and both scored when Mike Handley singled to left and sophomore Logan Parsley followed with a single to center.
That lead looked especially good with ace pitcher Scott DeFriez on the mound, but the Huskies answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Reno leadoff hitter Jake Johnson got aboard on a throwing error to get the ball rolling, Steve Mays doubled one run home and then pitcher Mike Lienert helped his own cause by blasting a two-run homer over the center field fence.
“Scott just didn’t have it today. But that happens to high school kids sometimes,” McNutt said of the senior right-hander, who was coming off a 15-strikeout performance against Wooster the week before. “We still didn’t do a lot to help out behind him. Take away that error to start the first inning and we probably get out of there without allowing a run.”
Lienert connected for a three-run homer in the fourth as the Huskies added five more runs for a 12-3 lead.
Carson got a lift from the bullpen when junior left-hander Wes Osmer came on and held the Huskies scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings.
“Wes came in and gave us a chance to win,” McNutt said. “He shut them down and kept us in the ball game.”
The Senators made a game of it in the seventh. Handley singled, Parsley walked and Kevin Schlange reached on an error to get one run home. Dave Nelson followed with an RBI double into the gap in right-center, then Jeff Hurzel and Royal Good were hit by pitches to load the bases.
Wallace came on to pitch in relief at that point and retired Melendez on a sacrifice fly to center field that brought Nelsen home. Bowman lined a single into center field to bring Hurzel home with a run to make it 12-9, but then Wallace struck out Leck swinging to end the game.
“John is a quality kid and very smart,” Reno coach Pete Savage said of Wallace. “He’s he’s a guy we can count on, definitely someone we want out there in that situation.”
Handley went 3-for-4 with one RBI, Leck 2-for-2 with one RBI, Bowman 2-for-3 with a double and Parsley 2-for-4 to lead Carson’s 11-hit attack.
Drew Johnson hit 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Reno. Wallace was 3-for-4 in the second game, plus he made a key defensive play at first base in the opener.
Carson had scored twice in the sixth to cut Reno’s lead to 5-3 when Wallace made a leaping catch of Mike Handley’s scoring line drive down the line to end the sixth inning with one runner aboard. The Huskies came back in the bottom of the sixth to score five runs and put the game away.
Leck gave Carson a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when he stepped into an 0-2 pitch and drove the ball over the right field fence. The senior first baseman also singled home a run in the sixth.
Reno ace Jeff Schoenbachler pitched a complete game five-hitter and struck out 10. Handley started for Carson, threw three scoreless innings and worked into the sixth.