Carson splits doubleheader |

Carson splits doubleheader

Darrell Moody

Carson High didn’t get the sweep it desperately needed, but made progress in the eyes of coach Cody Farnworth.

“I’m much more pleased with the effort,” Farnworth said after the gutty Senators split Friday’s twi-night doubleheader with Damonte Ranch at Ron McNutt Field. Carson won the first game 7-6 on a bases-loaded walk and dropped the nightcap, 10-8.

The split left Carson with some hope of making the playoffs. Carson is 4-8 with just six games left in the conference season. Damonte improved to 7-2. Carson hosts North Valleys at 7 p.m. Monday in the first game of a three-night nonleague homestand.

“We have to get better,” Farnworth said. “We have Manogue and South Tahoe left. That (a 9-9 league record) is probably going to be what we need to make it. We may need some help, too.

“Neither Nick (Domitrovich) or Colby (Blueberg) had their best stuff, but they kept us in the games. Adam Whitt had a big series. He did a great job (tonight) on the mound.”

Getting to nine wins means winning five of the next six, and considering Carson has been somewhat inconsistent this year, it will be a big task. It’s doable if the Senators show some of the resolve they demonstrated in both ends of the doubleheader.

Carson, which managed eight hits in the opener, had four of those in the first three innings en route to building a 4-2 lead.

The Senators manufactured a run in the first when Shea Bondi walked, moved to second on a balk, to third on a wild pitch and scored on Rory Petersen’s infield out to tie the game at 1.

Carson took a 3-1 lead in the second against the Mustangs’ Kevin Schulewitch thanks to a leadoff single by Blueberg, a run-scoring single by Whitt and a deep run-scoring double by Brock Pradere.

Damonte cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third on Tony Van Dover’s homer, one of five Damonte round-trippers on the day. However, Carson answered back on Austin Pacheco’s towering homer to left to make it 4-2.

The Mustangs scored two in the fourth and two in the fifth to grab a 6-4 lead. Whitt replaced Domitrovich on the mound and got the final out in the fifth.

Again, Carson came back.

Bondi walked and advanced to second on a single by Chance Quilling. Domitrovich forced Quilling at second and the relay throw to first in attempt to get a double play was off the mark, allowing Bondi to score. Domitrovich scored on a double by Pacheco to make it 6-6.

It stayed that way until the seventh.

Bondi reached on an error and moved to second on Quilling’s infield out. Damonte reliever Ryan Rieger intentionally walked Domitrovich to set up a double play. The runners moved to second and third on Pacheco’s hard groundball to first. The Mustangs elected to walk Blueberg intentionally to load the bases, setting up a force play at every base.

That brought up Blake Plattsmier, who hadn’t gotten the ball out of the infield in his three previous trips.

Plattsmier and Rieger waged an outstanding battle. Plattsmier extended the at-bat to eight pitches before walking on a 3-2 pitch to force in Bondi with the game-winner.

“That was a great at-bat,” Farnworth said. “He battled and battled up there and it came out our way.”

“I just kept fighting them off,” said Plattsmier, who hasn’t played baseball since his freshman year. “I didn’t want to strike out.”

In the nightcap, Damonte built a 4-0 lead against Blueberg, who worked the first 4 2/3 innings.

The Senators battled back, tying the game at 4 thanks to some aggressive baserunning, some shoddy fielding by Damonte and singles by Pacheco and Blueberg.

Carson lost the momentum quickly, as Rosa hit a two-run homer to make it 6-4. The Mustangs, who scored five in the fifth inning, tacked on an other run later on a wild pitch. An error by Domitrovich and a single by Zack Young accounted for the final two runs in the inning.

Big innings like that have been Carson’s downfall all year, but not this time.

Carson answered with four runs of its own to cut the deficit to 9-8 as Quilling. Blueberg and Whitt delivered run-scoring hits.

Drew Moreland, who retired four of the first five batters he faced in relief, yielded a leadoff homer to Spencer Moss in the top of the seventh to make it 10-8. Damonte had a chance to score more, but Bennett Bedford left third too early on a fly ball to end the inning.

Carson went down quietly in the bottom of the seventh as Pacheco flied out to center, Quilling grounded out to first and Plattsmier struck out.

“We’re a lot better then we’ve been showing and playing,” Plattsmier said.

Only time will tell.