Carson, Douglas square off today in baseball and softball
The Sierra League baseball and softball seasons open today, and because of the way schedules are done, arch-rivals Carson and Douglas will square off for season-opening three-game series.
In baseball, Carson (1-2) hosts Douglas (2-2) at 3:45 p.m. and then visits the Tigers for an 11 a.m. double-header. In softball, Carson (1-2) visits Douglas (1-2) at 3:30 p.m. The rivals will play a double-header Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
Last year the teams met in the final week of the season, and the Tigers won the series and the regular-season title.
Carson coach Cody Farnworth said he would have preferred to see the Tigers later in the season if for no other reason than it is a rivalry game and that should always be played later in the season. Another reason is that the teams have been practicing for less than a month, and have only played seven games combined.
“It’s a three-game series that we have to take,” Farnworth said. “We’re taking it like we did last year, on game at a time. Every series we want to take two out of three.
“The Douglas-Carson thing will kick in. We have to go out and play hard. With league the way it is this year, every game matters.”
Still, the schedule makers need to go back to the drawing board. The timing of this series leaves a lot to be desired.
“It does seem strange to start the season with them,” Carson senior pitcher David Charles said. “You can’t get too amped up for it. It’s most intense when both teams are at their best. Neither team will be at their best.”
Farnworth said he hasn’t decided on a rotation, but you can bet it will be Charles, Colby Blueberg and Nick Domitrovich based on last week’s tournament. Douglas can choose between Kameron VanWinkle, Beau Battista, Matt Thomas and Scott Rudnick.
Domitrovich, Cameron Mayville, Chance Quilling, Charles, Rory Petersen and Blueberg have looked solid at the plate thus far.
Douglas has been led by Thomas, who is 3-for-11 with eight RBIs, Cody Begovich is 5-for-8 with nine RBIs. Ryan Moglich is 5-for-14 with seven RBIs and Battista is 5-for-7 with three RBIs.
Neither Carson’s Scott Vickrey or Douglas’ Andy Mitchell are wild about a rivalry game coming in the first week of the regular season.
“Personally, I don’t like it,” Vickrey said. “Teams at this time of the year tend to be up and down. Teams are more consistent at the end of the year.”
“I’d definitely prefer to see them (Carson) the last weekend of the season instead of the first game,” Mitchell said. “They (my girls) are excited. It’s a combination of nerves of a first game and playing Carson.”
Both teams went 1-2 in the Tournament of Champions in Sacramento last week. Vickrey said that Daria Leid may pitch all three games in the series. Mitchell is still undecided between Chelsea Fent, Kaylee Duryee and Taylor McKinnon. All three pitched in Sacramento last weekend.
The Tigers have three of the top hitters in the league in first baseman Morgan Blomstrom, catcher Katrina Morgan and shortstop Emily Weaver. All three have gotten off to quick starts, according to Mitchell.
“They are definitely looking good,” Mitchell said. “We have to realy on hitting and defense to win this year because our pitching is so young.”