Blue Jays end season with two losses |

Blue Jays end season with two losses

The Carson Blue Jays’ season came to a disappointing end Tuesday night at Ron McNutt Field with Spanish Springs sweeping a doubleheader, 10-0 and 13-3.

The sweep saw Carson finish its hectic summer season with an 8-17 record. Both games were called after six innings on the mercy rule.

Carson coach Bryan Manoukian hate to lose, but he knows that summer baseball is about looking at the big picture and developing players for the upcoming season.

“I don’t think our record indicates the improvement that we made,” Manoukian said. “We did get better from the start of the season. It’s tough to lose as many times as we did. We have to compete better than we did. It’s usually one or two innings that kills us, and that’s what happened today and during the season.”

The 25-game schedule, for a couple of different reasons, was very impacted. The team played its entire schedule in approximately 31 days. Normally teams would play into at least the middle of July.

“We had to do it that way for a couple of reasons,” Manoukian said. “My wife is expecting very soon, and we’re trying to share players with football. I’m sure the schedule affected us some, but doubleheaders are coming back because Hug is fielding a team next year. I’m sure there was the mental and physical fatigue. It wasn’t easy.”

Recommended Stories For You

Manoukian felt his pitching was pretty solid, and he pointed out that Casey Wolfe pitched much better in the latter stages of the season. He’ll be expected to carry a heavier load next year along with Jace Zampirro and Charlie Banfield.

“I thought our pitching was pretty good all summer,” Manoukian said. “We only had a couple of bad outings.”

The hitting wasn’t bad, either. Manoukian said the team hit over .300 in the 25-game schedule, and that alone should have been enough to win a few more games.

It’s defense that has Manoukian concerned.

“If we don’t figure out how to play defense, it’s going to be a long season next year,” he said. “I think it would help our baseball IQ if guys would watch more games.”

Both games followed the same pattern – the Blue Jays falling behind early and never recovering.

In the opener, Spanish Springs struck for two in the third, six in the fourth and two in the sixth, as Hunter Pinto down the Blue Jays’ attack.

The closest Carson came to scoring was in the fifth and sixth innings.

In the fifth, Brandon Allen and Danny Guthrie hit two-out singles, but Pinto retired Chazz Nystrom to end the inning. In the sixth, two-out singles by Dustin Dutcher and Luke Maher plus a walk to Nevin Elliott loaded the bases. Ryan Pope struck out to end the inning and the game.

In the second game, Jeff McCusker’s two-out single gave Spanish Springs a quick 1-0 lead against the Blue Jays and Charlie Banfield.

In the second, Spanish Springs sent 10 batters to the plate and six of them scored as the Cougars took a 7-0 lead. Spanish Springs hit five singles and Banfield hit two batters. McCusker had a big two-run single.

“A couple of the balls they hit should have been caught,” Manoukian said. “Charlie was throwing hard; throwing well. When you’re around the strike zone a lot, balls are going to find the barrel of the bat. Charlie didn’t throw badly. We need to make plays.”

Derek Encinas came on in the third, and he was pounded for five runs to make it 12-0. Carson scored two in the third on a Nevin Elliott double and one in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Guthrie, but a throwing error enabled Spanish Springs to regain the 10-run margin.