Carson baseball falls to Manogue
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – After opening its non-league schedule with a 7-0 record and outscoring its opponents 90-20, the Carson Senators ended a tough week with its third consecutive defeat, a 7-1 loss Friday to the Miners at Manogue High School.
Miners starter Joe Wieland (2-0) kept the Senators’ bats silent and Carson committed four errors – for a total of 12 in its last three games – as the Senators finished its preseason at 7-3.
Wieland pitched a scoreless six innings, allowing three hits and striking out six while his team backed him up by playing errorless ball in improving its record to 6-1. Manogue will open High Desert League play against Galena on Thursday.
Carson starter Tony Fagan (1-1) spread out six hits and gave up six runs, but only two of them were earned as the Senators’ errors contributed heavily to their demise.
“We weren’t ready to play behind him,” Carson coach Steve Cook said of Fagan, who struck out seven while walking one. “We weren’t ready to play at all – zero. Their kid on the mound (Wieland) played very well. Our kids didn’t come to play – zero percent.
“Tony Fagan did well from the mound. We didn’t play behind him. Our worst enemy is us.”
If Carson’s own worst enemy is itself, then Wieland came in a close second as he consistently got ahead in the count and never gave the Senators a chance to get untracked.
“Sometimes you take a guy like Joe for granted,” said Charles Oppio, who is in his 15th season as the Miners’ head coach. “You get that kind of effort every time. He didn’t have everything working, but he battled. I know the score and the stats don’t show it, but he didn’t have his usual stuff.
“He usually has four pitches – fastball, cutter, curve and changeup. He didn’t have all four, but he had a great effort and got through.”
Manogue got on the scoreboard in the first inning when Wieland’s single to right scored Ray Barrett, who reached second base after Carson left fielder Tyler Smith lost Barrett’s fly ball in the sun for the first of his two errors.
Fagan made only one mistake in the second, but the Miners made the most of it when catcher Tim Lewis (2-for-3, 1 RBI) hit a solo homer to left for a 2-0 lead.
Fagan pitched a hitless third, but Damon Elder reached second after a throwing error by second baseman Markus Adams. Elder came home to make it 3-0 on a throwing error to first by third baseman Kyle Stone.
After Fagan got Brett Hinckley and Lewis to pop up in the fourth, he allowed a single to Mike Olivo, who reached home when Smith lost Matt Aboumrad’s high fly ball in the sun.
A single by shortstop Casey Schapper brought in Aboumrad for a 5-0 Miners lead.
“I thought Tony Fagan did a great job on the hill for us,” Cook said. “He gave us a chance to win. We just didn’t play behind him. He wanted the ball again at the pitch count (Stephen Sawyers entered the game in the sixth), but I said, ‘We gotta shut you down, son.’ We gotta look long term. We had a full dugout. He understands that.”
Hinckley put Manogue up 6-0 in the fifth, singling home Evan Miller, whom Fagan walked after striking out Elder and Wieland to open the inning.
“Carson had a tough time in the outfield today,” Oppio said. “The kid (Fagan) pitched a great game. It would’ve probably been a 2- or 3-1 game if they were catching the ball out there.”
Oppio credited his coaching staff for the Miners’ error-free day.
“Rocky Lepori – our outfield coach did a great job and so did (infield) Coach Jerry Harris,” said Oppio, who led the Miners to five Class 3A state championships. “I just stay out of the way and let them coach. The way Fagan was pitching, it was tough to scratch out runs.”
Pinch hitter Scott Lawrence singled in Aboumrad in the sixth to round out the Miners’ scoring.
Sawyers allowed two hits and one run in one inning of relief after returning from a back injury suffered during weight training.
“He said he was good to go (Thursday),” Cook said of Sawyers. “I sat him out. He was good to go today and we had him in the pen. We knew Tony would go deep for us in spite of our errors and our inability to make plays.”
Carson tried to slug its way back into the game in the seventh, sending six batters to the plate, but managed only one run when right fielder Nick Smallman (2-for-4, 1 RBI) drove in Paul Cagle.
Cagle went 2-for-3 and reached on a leadoff double in the seventh.
Schapper relieved Wieland in the sixth and gave up three hits and one earned run.
Cook said his team learned a tough lesson this week in the Manogue Tournament.
“We know if we make it to zone this year, the teams on that side (the High Desert League) are very tough,” he said. “We have to play our best to win. That’s the message to us. I hope we get it.
“We have one long week to practice. We’ve got plenty of time to get things fixed. The effort we got out of the team today I’m not happy with at all.”
The Senators will open Sierra League play Thursday at 3:30 p.m., when they host South Tahoe at Carson High School.