BASEBALL: Carson rallies in 6th to beat Douglas
The summer version of the baseball rivalry between Douglas and Carson started Friday night, and it’s nowhere near as heated as a regular-season game.
Part of it is because graduating seniors don’t play, meaning that both teams are playing some of their younger players. Another reason is that winning and losing isn’t as important in the summer as in the spring. Coaches are looking for improvement every game.
“It’s not as intense, but it’s still fun to play them,” Carson shortstop Nick Domitrovich said.
Domitrovich had a lot of fun, producing two run-scoring singles, including one in a four-run sixth inning, to help the Blue Jays grab an 8-6 come-from-behind win over the Tigers at Ron McNutt Field.
“I’m pleased with the win,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “I’m not too worried about the score right now. We’re going to start throwing Nick and Chance (Quilling). We’ve got to develop a pitching staff; develop our younger players and older players. I want us to get better every game.
“I liked it because we competed. Charlie (Banfield) played a decent game at third base and Tyler (Valley) pitched a nice seventh inning to save the game.”
For Douglas, it was another tough setback. The Tigers lost 5-4 to Manogue on Tuesday. Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen has just two returning varsity players on his squad this summer, and the inexperience showed at several points during the game.
“We’ve lost two close ones,” Jacobsen said. “We’ve had the lead and not been able to hold on to it. We’re going to go through growing pains.
“We had four mental errors in that (sixth) inning, and you can’t do that. We’ll practice more with this team than we have in the past. We have to do more coaching; more teaching.”
Carson gained a 3-2 lead through three thanks to run-scoring singles by Domitrovich and Quilling and a sacrifice fly by Dion Copoulos. Douglas’ two runs came from Cody Begovich, who is 6-for-8 in the first two games. Begovich hit a two-run single off Carson starter Casey Wolfe.
Douglas tallied three unearned runs in the fifth off Drew Moreland, who received credit for the win. Moreland gave up four runs, and all four were unearned.
“That’s what Drew does is throw some groundballs,” Farnworth said. “He did a good job.”
In the fifth, Sullivan Cauley reached on an error by Gehrig Tucker. Moreland got the next two hitters, but Dusty Fisher singled Cauley to third. Begovich followed with a run-scoring hit that scored both runs because Quilling’s throw from centerfield skipped past Banfield and went out of play. Dillon Lopez followed with a single to score Begovich to make it 5-3.
Carson closed to 5-4, scoring a run when Jackson Ketron, the Douglas starter, balked with runners on first and third allowing Domitrovich to score. Domitrovich had gotten around to third when Ketron threw wildly to first on a pick-off attempt. The relay throw appeared to have gotten Domitrovich, but the Carson star was ruled safe.
Douglas added another unearned run in the top of the sixth when Joe Almeida hit a lead-off double and scored on a two-out error by Banfield.
That set the stage for Carson’s big rally in the sixth.
Banfield reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. T.J. Thomsen followed with a deep drive to the base of the fence in center to score Banfield and make it 6-5.
Nolan Weintz came on to pitch for Douglas. Thomsen stole third and stayed there when Tucker was safe on a fielder’s choice when the Douglas second baseman, who was playing in to cut off the run, threw to third. With runners on first and third, Weintz turned to throw to first, but never released the ball. The balk tied the game at 6.
“Nolan threw some good inning for us this year,” Jacobsen said. “He had a lapse there.”
Domitrovich followed with a sharp line drive to which got by the outfielder allowing Tucker to score the go-ahead run to make it 7-6. Quilling, who went 2-for-2, followed with a single to add an insurance run. Valley came on in the seventh and retired the side easily, striking out two batters.