Carson baseball sweeps Fallon
By Darrell Moody
Thanks to two seventh-inning rallies and some clutch pitching by Connor Beattie and David Charles, Carson High put itself back in the Sierra League playoff picture.
The young Senators are 3-3 in league after sweeping Fallon, 4-3 and 2-1, Saturday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.
“It was huge,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “That’s not a bad team over there. It’s like I told the kids, 3-3 is a lot better than 1-5. With some big games coming up (three next week versus Galena), everybody knew we had to get back to winning.
“Both guys (Beattie and Charles) like to be in those type of situations. He (Beattie) did a great job for us.”
Both games came down to the final inning. Carson came up with the opportune hit, while Fallon failed to execute with runners in scoring position.
Fallon led the opener 3-1, but a sacrifice fly by Nick Domitrovich and a run-scoring single by Blake Plattsmier, both in the fifth inning, knotted the game at 3. That’s the way the game stayed until the seventh.
Beattie came on in place of Domitrovich, who worked the first six innings.
Colton Olney greeted Beattie with a double and Smith was walked intentionally. Beattie hit Mendez to load the bases with no outs. Beattie then struck out Drake Roque looking on a nasty curveball for the first out. Beattie then struck out J.J. Boyle and pinch-hitter Connor Matheson to end the inning.
Domitrovich doubled to open the seventh. Austin Pacheco, who went 4-for-4 on Thursday, was walked intentionally. Carson eschewed the bunt and Blake Plattsmier forced Domitrovich at third. Moments later, Pacheco took off for third and was thrown out, as David Feltner either missed a bunt-and-run or hit-and-run sign. Feltner eventually walked and Brock Pradere hit an infield single to load the bases. Colby Blueberg, who went 3-for-4 in the opener, ended it moments later with a sharp single to left field.
“It felt great (to get some hits),” Blueberg said. “To get a couple of hits gives you confidence going into the next series. I was too uptight. The coaches kept telling me I needed to relax.”
Domitrovich fanned four and walked two in giving the Senators a solid effort. Dioney Mendez, who scattered seven hits for Fallon, was the losing pitcher.
The second game turned out to be another pitcher-dominated game, as Carson’s Charles and Fallon’s Teryn Smith were brilliant. Charles couldn’t even get out of bed Saturday morning and was scratched for the opener.
“It was a cramp-type thing,” Farnworth said of Charles’ illness. “His dad called me and said he couldn’t even get out of bed. I wasn’t sure we would have him. I’m glad he showed up.”
“I felt better once I got out here,” Charles said. “No matter what, I was going to pitch today.”
Charles, who was efficient with his pitches, worked out of a small jam in the second and had a shutout through six innings. Smith, who was nicked for a first-inning run, retired 18 of 20 batters after the first inning.
Fallon tied the game in the top of the seventh when Olney doubled and scored on Smith’s single. Mendez singled Smith over to third and took second when Pacheco missed the cut-off man from right field.
Charles settled down and struck out Roque, J.J. Boyle and Kolby McFarlane to end the top of the seventh. Talk about deja vu.
Blueberg singled to open the Carson seventh. Feltner dropped down a bunt, and Smith went for the force at second but Blueberg beat the throw. Plattsmier moved the runners to second and third with a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt. Fallon set up a potential inning-ending double play by walking Chance Quilling to load the bases.
With a count of 1-1, Rory Petersen dropped down a squeeze bunt just to the right of the mound. Smith charged the ball and tried to barehand it so he could make a quick flip home, but the ball bounced over his hand, allowing Blueberg to score the game-winner.
“After the first strike, I knew I would get the squeeze sign,” Petersen said. “I saw it go toward second. I didn’t know what happened until everybody started running toward me.”
It certainly had to be a tough pill for Fallon to swallow. The Greenwave was just two hits from possibly sweeping the whole series.
“We put ourselves in position to win both games,” said Fallon coach Robbie Wickware. “We just didn’t get it done. Both times Carson was able to get the run in the bottom of the seventh. We have to learn from it and get better.
“It (producing with runners in scoring position) is something we work on. Our approach with runners in scoring position has to get better. The kids understand that.”