Carson clinches homefield for playoff opener
It was a win-win day for Carson High’s baseball team Friday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.
The Senators celebrated Senior Day with an 11-5 win over Bishop Manogue and also clinched homefield for the opening round in the process.
Carson, 12-8 in league, hosts No. 5 Galena Tuesday at 4 p.m. It will most likely be Jace Zampirro facing Beau Cullen, who beat Carson 6-1 on Tuesday.
Carson outhit Manogue 10-8. Carson was also the beneficiary of seven walks and four hit batters. Seven of those baserunners eventually scored.
“The kids came out ready to play,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “We rebounded well. I was concerned the entire way because of how well Manogue hits the ball.
“You have to take advantage of those things (walks, etc.). That’s something we haven’t always done this year.”
Manogue hurt Carson on Thursday with six runs in the first two innings on Thurday, and the Senators returned the favor on Friday with 11 runs.
Gehrig Tucker opened the first with a double and scored on a two-bagger by senior Rory Petersen. Walks to senior Brock Pradere and senior Nick Domitrovich loaded the bases. Manogue starter Austin Vial plunked Luke Maher, foring home a run to make it 2-0.
Exit Vial enter Keegan Sullivan.
Casey Wolfe forced Maher at second, as Pradere scored the inning’s third run. Senior Drew Moreland singled home Domitrovich to make it 4-0. Sullivan retired the next two hitters to end the inning.
Sullivan failed to retire a batter in the second, walking Tucker and Petersen to start the inning. Pradere greeted reliever Harrison Shawa with a single to load the bases. Shawa was replacd after plunking both Domitrovich and Maher to force in runs to make it 6-0. Wolfe and Carter Nuckolls walked against Jake Snow to make it 8-0. A single by T.J. Thomsen, a fielder;s choice by Tucker and a single by Petersen capped the seven-run inning and stretched Carson’s lead to 11-0.
Petersen carries the hottest stick heading into he playoffs. The infielder/catcher went 8-for-14 this week, including back-to-back three-hit games against Manogue.
“I’ve done a lot of work in the cage,” Petersen said. “I come in on my prep period to work on my hitting. I’m seeing the ball better, and I’m working on taying back and driving the ball to the opposite field.”
The 11 runs was more than enough cushion for Wolfe, who hadn’t started a game in nearly a month. He gave up five runs in five innings, though only three were earned. Chase Blueberg finished up with two scoreless innings in a non-save situation.
“He (Wolfe) battled,” Farnworth said. “Starting off with two zeros was big. He didn’t let them get going early. I was impressed with Blueberg. he came in and threw strikes.”
Manogue’s offense was limited to two runs in the third and three in the fifth. Devonte German hit a solo homer in the fifth leading to a three-run inning.
The win gives Carson some momentum heading into the post-season.
“We were confident as a team about today,” Pradere said. “We knew we could hang with them. We knew we had to play a little better than we did yesterday.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well, We’re really coming together offensively. We just need to play good defense and pitch well.”