Carson baseball beats North Valleys
It took a while for Carson’s offense to get untracked, but when it did it struck with the ferocity of a Florida hurricane.
After being blanked for four innings, Carson scored six in the fifth and added 10 runs in the sixth en route to a 16-5 win over North Valleys in a Sierra League baseball game Thursday at Ron McNutt Field.
The win upped Carson’s record to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in league. The teams meet again Saturday in a 1 p.m. doubleheader with Mike Handley and Jason Alcasas taking the mound for the Senators.
Carson, despite Scott DeFriesz’s solid pitching, trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the fifth against junk-balling John Holcomb. The Senators roared back with 10 runs and 15 hits in the last two innings.
“We were hitting a lot of deep fly balls,” Carson coach Ron McNutt said. “I told them to be a little more patient at the plate, and we finally got to him (John Holcomb). Our big hitters try to jack the ball, and they end up pulling it or popping out. I told them to stay back and they did.”
“I was getting pretty scared,” shortstop Willie Bowman said. “It was the fourth inning and we hadn’t scored.”
The Senators’ eighth and ninth-place hitters, Jason Alcasas and Jeff Hurzel, started Carson’s rally in the fifth. With one out, Alcasas reached on an error and moved to second on Hurzel’s single.
Aaron Henry followed with a single, scoring Alcasas and sending Hurzel to third. Henry moved to second on the throw home. Logan Parsley singled home Hurzel and Henry to make it 3-3. Bowman, who went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs, connected with a hanging curveball and drove it over the wall to make it 5-3. After Eric Melendez flied to center, Cameron Leck doubled and scored on Handley’s single. Dave Nelsen singled and Holcomb got Alcasas on a pop to third to end the inning.
“Jeff will surprise you,” McNutt said. “He’s done a good job for us all year. Anytime a ninthg-place hitter gets a hit, walks or gets on because of an error, it just helps the ballclub.”
North Valleys sliced the lead to 6-5 in the top of the sixth when Johnny Johnson singled and moved around to third when Bowman’s throw to second on A.J. Fitzgerald’s groundball was wild. Johnson scored on Mitch Murphy’s fielder’s choice. Murphy eventually scored on a double steal.
In the sixth, Carson sent 11 batters to the plate and 10 of them scored. Bowman, Leck, Hurzel and Henry each drove in two runs in the final inning. Henry’s homer ended the game on the 10-run rule with one out.
Henry and Hurzel finished with three hits apiece, and Bowman, Leck, Melendez and Nelsen added two each. All nine starters collected at least one hit apiece.
“Jeff (Hurzel) has been stepping up all year,” Bowman said. “That first rally was started by our eighth and ninth-place hitters. You have to have that all the way through the lineup.
“Scott pitched a good game. He got groundballs when he needed to. If I don’t make the error, he gets out of that last inning.”
Bowman feels the Senators aren’t playing to their potential – yet.
“We can be one of the better teams, if not the best team in the state, if we put it together,” he said. “We’re not finishing games like we should.”
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281.