Damonte silences Senators
Carson High fell into a quick hole Thursday afternoon and never recovered.
Nate Nolan blasted a two-run homer in the first inning, and Damonte Ranch eliminated Carson from the Northern 4A baseball playoffs with a 13-1 mercy rule victory at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson finished the season 15-14-1.
“I give credit to Damonte Ranch,” said Carson coach Cody Farnworth, who was ejected after arguing a call in the fourth inning. “They outplayed us. The better team won today. We’ve got to play better than we did.
“It was a pretty good year for us overall. As coaches, we felt that we would probably finish somewhere in the middle of the pack. We got to fourth place, which is awesome. We did some good things this year.”
Unfortunately, none of those good things happened on Thursday.
The bats went silent as O’Keefe Hall tossed a five-hitter. Carson only made two errors, but there were a couple of other balls that should have been caught. Either the balls were misjudged or the fielders took bad angles to the ball. The pitching just wasn’t there, as CHS pitchers walked nine and hit two others.
Charlie Banfield gave up four runs and five hits in 3-plus innings. After the Nolan homer in the first, he allowed an unearned run in the second when Micah Moffitt doubled and scored on a two-out error by Brock Pradere.
“We asked him to come out and be aggressive like he was in relief (against Douglas),” Farnworth said. “He threw well; he just has to be better with his location.”
The Senators cut the lad to 3-1 in the third, rallying after Hall retired the first two batters of the inning.
Rory Petersen hit an infield single, Pradere was hit by a pitch and Nick Domitrovich was safe on a fielder’s choice when Pradere beat the force throw to second. Luke Maher followed with a single, accounting for Carson’s only run.
Then came the fourth, and Farnworth’s ejection.
Gover doubled to lead off the inning, sending Banfield to the showers. Gover scored on a double by Justin Bridgman off Tyler Valley. With Nolan at the plate, Bridgman tried to steal third. As Domitrovich started to throw the ball, his arm appeared to hit the mask of the plate umpire, and the ball sailed into the outfield, which allowed Bridgman to score easily for a 5-1 lead.
“I hit him (the umpire) in the jaw with my elbow,” Domitrovich said. “I hit him somewhere with my elbow.”
Farnworth came out to argue the call and got nowhere.
“First he told me that there was no contact,” Farnworth said. “Then he told me the umpires are part of the field.”
In the end, the play had little outcome on the game, but it was important when it happened.
The Mustangs tacked on three more in the fifth, as Patrick Wolfe hit a solo homer, Bridgman hit a sacrifice fly to score Kyle Richard, and Nolan doubled home Gover for an 8-1 lead.
Chase Blueberg came on in the sixth and couldn’t find the plate. He walked four and hit a batter, as the Mustangs scored five more.
Carson needed three in the sixth to extend the game, but came up empty. Logan Krupp hit a on-out single and went to third on a double to left by Gehrig Tucker. Petersen, the Senators’ hottest hitter, followed with a vicious line drive which was caught by third baseman Alex Hernandez to end the game. Other than the two Damonte homers, it may have been the hardest ball hit in the game.