Carson Blue Jays drop two at tournament
RENO — The effort was a little bit better but the result was, unfortunately, the same for the Carson Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays dropped two games at the Reno Memorial Day Tournament, losing 9-7 in eight innings to the Galena Cubs and 14-4 to the Sierra Sun Devils on Saturday at Wooster High School.
Carson returns to tournament play today at 3 p.m. against the North Valleys Paw Sox at McQueen High School.
“I liked our competitiveness against Galena,” Blue Jays coach Bryan Manoukian said. “Against the Sun Devils, we competed on the defensive side of the ball and at the plate. Our younger pitchers have to do a better job of throwing strikes.”
Friday, the Blue Jays committed seven errors, and pitchers hit two batters, walked four, threw three wild pitches and there was two passed balls in a 12-6 loss to the Sparks Raiders. Saturday, the team played better but ended with little to show for it.
Losing to the Sun Devils — a team comprised of graduating seniors and first-year college players — was a given.
The Galena game was one that got away.
With the score tied at 6, Carson pushed across a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-6 lead.
Abel Carter led off the inning with a ball in the alley. He appeared to hesitate around second and was thrown out on a close play at third much to the chagrin of Manoukian, who voiced his displeasure.
After Jared Barnard was retired, Kahle Good kept the inning alive with a double. Colby Zemp was plunked by a pitch, and Landon Truesdale singled to right, driving home Good.
Galena bounced right back in the top of the seventh, as Nick Myers doubled, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Laird, tying the game at 7.
Galena’s Aidan Elliott hit an infield single to short to start the top of the eighth. Barnard was playing too deep and was unable to throw him out. It was the third infield hit of the day, and Barnard appeared to be playing too deep on all three.
Manoukian argued the call and was eventually thrown out of the game.
Andrew West drew a walk and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Cole Demosthenes. Nolan Craddock followed with a two-run double, snapping the 7-all tie.
Craddock came on in the eighth and easily retired Carson to end the game.
Barnard and Truesdale each collected three hits to lead Carson. Carter added two hits. Truesdale drove in three runs.
In the second contest, the Sun Devils broke open a tight 3-1 game with four runs in the third and six in the fourth to take a 13-3 lead.
Carson managed to stay alive with a run in the fifth on Truesdale’s single to avoid being run-ruled for the time being.
The Sun Devils ended it moments later in the bottom of the fifth on Logan Weeks’ game-ending single.
Good led Carson with three hits and Truesdale added two. Truesdale drove in two more runs, giving him a 5-for-8 day with five RBI.
Truesdale was a big bright spot for the Blue Jays. He’s one of a handful of returning starters from the varsity squad, but he said he doesn’t feel any added pressure.
“Landon was big,” Manoukian said. “He found the holes and kept us in the (Galena) game. He is starting to figure it out.”
“I just tried to do my part, and I think I did,” Truesdale said. “I don’t feel pressure putting up numbers. I just want to show the younger players how the game is supposed to be played.”
Truesdale is hitting a team-leading .556 with a team-leading 10 RBI. And, he’s playing a stellar centerfield, replacing the graduated Jesse Lopez.
The Sun Devils have former CHS stars Connor Pradere, Jace Keema, Bryce Moyle and Cole McDannald on the roster. None played against the Blue Jays … The tournament concludes Monday, and then the Blue Jays host games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.