Carson extends win streak to four with 10-3 win |

Carson extends win streak to four with 10-3 win

Carson High rode the hitting of Luke Maher and the pitching of Drew Moreland to its fourth consecutive Northern 4A baseball win Saturday afternoon.

Maher went 4-for-4 with four RBI and Moreland pitched 5.2 innings of 2-hit baseball to lead the Senators to an easy 10-3 win at Ron McNutt Field.

Carson improved to 6-3 heading into Tuesday’s series-ender at Damonte Ranch. First pitch is set for 3:45 p.m., weather permitting.

“Drew did a tremendous job of throwing strikes and keeping their hitters off balance,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “Luke put the barrel on the ball today. That was nice to see. He’s swinging the bat pretty well right now.

“This was a good win for us. They are a good team, and we better be ready to play on Tuesday.”

The Senators gave Moreland a four-run cushion in the first against Damonte starter/loser Michael Brown.

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Gehrig Tucker singled and moved to second when Brock Pradere was hit by a pitch. Nick Domitrovich forced Pradere, and Maher brought everybody home with a laser-shot to centerfield for a quick 3-0 lead. Maher is 9-for-13 in his last four games.

“That homer cut into the wind,” Farnworth said. “He hit that one pretty hard. If he keeps hitting, he’ll stay in the lineup somewhere.”

“It was like a knuckleball,” said Maher, who hit three homers as a freshman. “I knew I hit it pretty good. I didn’t know if it would go out or not. I feel like hitting is coming to me. When coach (Bryan ) Manoukian started working with me, I was thinking too much. Now, I go up there thinking I’m going to hit the ball.”

Dion Copoulos made it 4-0 when he singled in Rory Petersen, who had doubled to right-centerfield after Maher’s round-tripper.

The Senators did even better in the second, scoring six times and knocking Brown out of the game.

Cole Dufresne singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker and scored when Brown threw Gehrig’s bunt away at first. Tucker moved to third on a Pradere single and scored on Maher’s double to center. Petersen and Casey Wolfe walked, the latter forcing in a run. Maher and Petersen both scored on wild pitches, the second one being served up by reliever O’Keefe Hall. Chase Blueberg capped the rally with a run-scoring single to make it 10-0.

That was the last of Carson’s offense.

“That tends to happen (when you get a big lead),” Farnworth said. “Their last couple kids came in and did a good job. I think they do (relax) subconsciously.”

Moreland, who retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, did a stellar job setting up hitters with his breaking ball. The senior right-hander said he threw about 50 percent breaking balls and 50 percent fastballs.

Moreland was one out away from a five-inning no-hitter when Matt Gover singled to right. Patrick Wolfe, who had reached on a walk, and Kyle Bailey who was hit by a pitch, both scored when Dufresne misplayed the ball in right.

“I think I had a no-hitter when I was 10,” said Moreland, who was sweating profusely after his post-game running in the outfield. “I had no idea that I had a no-hitter until coach Valley’s wife told me after I came out of the game. My fastball I thought I had a little more zip today. I started to slow down in the sixth.”

“We pitched them backwards,” Farnworth said. “Drew throws that curve (to get ahead) and we can sneak a fastball in there. We want him to pitch, not throw.”

When Moreland left in the sixth the bases were loaded, but Tyler Valley caught Bryce Larsen looking at a third strike to end the inning.

Valley ran into trouble in the seventh, however.

A double by Bailey, a single by Gover and a walk to Justin Bridgman loaded the bases with no outs. Nate Nolan stepped up and lined to short, and Pradere caught the ball and doubled Bailey off third. Matt Olson singled, and Gover stormed home when Copoulos bobbled the ball momentarily. After Alec Hernandez walked, Farnworth put in Wolfe, who retired the last batter to end the game.