Carson baseball team is in the midst of a rebuilding year
Carson High baseball coach Cody Farnworth is a realist. He knows he has a big rebuilding job ahead.
“Anytime you lose 13 seniors, you’ve got some work to do,” said Farnworth, who guided the Senators to a 24-11 record last season in his first year at the helm. “We have a lot of sophomores (seven). We’ll be young, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse. We still have to go out and play.
“This is a pretty talented group, and they are buying in to what we’re asking them to do. We have good chemistry.”
Most of the sophomores and a couple of the juniors had success in Little League and during summer travel ball, but high school is a different game.
Farnworth got a glimpse last weekend at a scrimmage and he’ll get a better look over the next three days at the Carson Preseason Tournament. South Tahoe, Lassen, Fallon, North Valleys, Fernley, Sparks and Lovelock are the other teams entered.
Carson opens today at 7 p.m. against Lassen. On Friday, Carson plays Lovelock at 11:30 a.m. and returns at 7 p.m. to face North Valleys. The win-loss record over two days will determine Saturday’s game time.
This will be a different team offensively. Besides losing all-region player Matt Rutledge, the team also lost sluggers Paul Cagle, Cody Barr, Dustin Buttner and Kyle Stone. The group accounted for the bulk of the Senators’ runs, making things much easier for the pitching staff.
“Offensively there will be a little more pressure,” Farnworth admitted. “We’re going to be more aggressive this year; play more small ball. We’ll steal bases when we can.”
Farnworth said he likes the makeup of the team, but admits that he doesn’t have a leader like Rutledge.
“David (Charles) is getting better at the vocal stuff,” Farnworth said. “He (Charles) is more lead by example. Blake (Plattsmier) was in a leadership role on the football team and had success. Hopefully he can be a leader for us.
“We have a good group that works hard. The chemistry is better this year.”
Here’s a look at this year’s group by position:
Senior David Charles, junior Danny Gall, sophomore Drew Moreland, senior Blake Plattsmier, sophomore Nicholas Domitrovich, junior Colby Blueberg, sophomore Austin Pacheco, junior Connor Beattie and sophomore Brock Pradere.
Certainly the Senators have more arms this year, but the left-handed Charles, an all-league selection, is the only proven thrower. Beattie saw a very limited action in a relief role.
“You don’t replace a guy like Matt Rutledge.” Farnworth said. “We have a little more depth. We don’t have to rely on just one guy. It will be more of a pitch-by-committee approach.”
Returnee Cameron Mayville inherits the starting job. Junior Bryce Altus and Rory Petersen, a sophomore, are both up from the junior varsity squad. Mayville hit .449 with five RBIs in limited action.
“Cameron is No. 1 right now,” Farnworth said. “We’ll see what he can do. It would have been tough to break into that lineup last year. He (Mayville) knows baseball.”
This is a position that will be a platoon situation. Charles is expected to play first when he doesn’t pitch. Junior Adam Whitt, Gall and Pacheco are the other candidates
With league play only a week away, Whitt, Gall and Pacheco won’t have a lot of time to prove themselves.
“We’ve got the preseason tournament and a scrimmage,” Farnworth said. “It will come down to who is hot at the time.”
Petersen, Pradere, Domitrovich and Blueberg will man the two spots. Blueberg, who hit .176 last season, will start at shortstop, leaving the remaining three to battle for the second base spot.
“These two positions are interchangeable,” Farnworth said. “One of these guys will have to be able to play short if Colby pitches.”
Pradere and Moreland, both of whom played JV ball last year are the top candidates. Domitrovich can also play there as needed.
“Both Pradere and Moreland have done a good job so far,” Farnworth said.
Sophomore Dylan Sawyers, who took a year off from the sport last year, is shaking the rust off. Junior Shea Bondi, senior David Feltner, sophomore Chance Quilling, Whitt and Plattsmier will battle for the three starting spots.
Farnworth said Bondi and the speedy Sawyers are the top candidates to play center. Beattie, Feltner and Plattsmier are fighting for time in left and right.