Carson’s bats silent in doubleheader loss to Galena
RENO – One thing has become evident nine games into the Sierra League baseball season – Carson High is struggling at the plate.
The Senators have scored just 29 runs in nine games, an average of 3.2 per contest. Unless you have superlative pitching, which the Senators don’t have this year, that kind of output won’t win you many games.
Carson managed just 13 hits in Saturday’s doubleheader and dropped both games, 10-1 and 8-5, to drop to 3-6 at the halfway point of the season. Carson hit just .219 for the series and were outscored 26-8 by the Grizzlies, who improved to a league-best 6-0.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Senators, who play Damonte Ranch in a three-game series starting at 3:45 p.m. Thursday. The teams will play a doubleheader Friday at Ron McNutt Field.
“We have to play better than we did today,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “We have a big series coming up.
“The second game today was better than the first one. We’re only hitting around .240 (for the season). When they throw (Eric) Howsley, Jace (Puckett) and (Brian) Pointer at you that’s a pretty good staff. Kudos to them.”
Farnworth has tried nine different batting orders in an attempt to find the right combination. He hasn’t found a leadoff hitter he’s happy with, though Rory Petersen went 2-for-3 with a homer and single in the second game. No doubt he’ll get a chance to leadoff again, maybe as early as Thursday.
“We’re trying to find guys that want to compete,” Farnworth said. “I thought Rory did a good job putting the bat on the ball. Maybe we found a guy.
‘We’re taking fastballs and swinging at curveballs in the dirt.”
In the opening game, it wasn’t only the hitting that didn’t come through. Ace David Charles had a rare off day, yielding seven runs on eight hits in four innings in falling to 1-2 on the year.
Galena scored three runs in the second thanks to run-scoring singles by Jeremy Rosenthal and Matt Page plus a run-scoring double by No. 9 hitter Alex Barajas.
Rosenthal went 4-for-7 in the series. He’s played well in the absence of regular first baseman Luke Cooper, who is out with an injury.
After an easy third inning, Charles struggled again in the fourth.
Charles walked the first two batters and then surrendered a run-scoring single to Zack Immonen to make it 5-0. Doubles by Daniel Ferguson and Brian Pointer accounted for the final two runs of the inning and a 7-0 lead.
“He battled,” Farnworth said. “Some days you aren’t going to have your best stuff.”
It was a far cry from last year when Charles threw one of the best games in his career in shutting down the Grizzlies on just two hits.
“I felt good in the bullpen,” Charles said. “I go out there (to the field) and everything was out of whack. That happens sometimes. I tried to make adjustments. One inning I’d come back and the next inning I’d have problems.”
Galena built its lead to 8-0 before Carson finally got on the board in the sixth against Puckett. David Feltner hit a infield single with one out and moved to third on a single by Colby Blueberg. Petersen followed with a fly to right. Feltner tagged and started home. The throw came back into the field and Blueberg was doubled off first, but not before Feltner tagged home.
Puckett left after the sixth, having allowed only four hits. He struck out nine and hit two batters.
Pointer hit a two-run homer off reliever Drew Moreland in the sixth to complete the scoring.
The Grizzlies came out swinging in the second game against starter and loser Nick Domitrovich, scoring twice in the first and three times in the second.
Eric Howsley slammed a leadoff homer to left on Domitrovich’s fourth pitch of the game. After Ferguson struck out, Pointer tripled to deep right-centerfield and scored on Garrett Shutt’s infield roller to short.
The Grizzlies made it 5-0 in the second thanks to singles by Rosenthal and Immonen, an error by catcher Cameron Mayville on a chopper in front of the plate, a balk and a sacrifice fly by Howsley.
Petersen cut the deficit to 5-1 with a solo one-out homer in the third off Pointer, but Galena got the run back when Shutt singled, stole second and third, and scored on Tony Guidara’s infield out.
Blueberg, who went 3-for-3 in the second game, launched a leadoff homer in the fourth to make it 6-2. Blueberg went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader.
Connor Beattie came on for Domitrovich in the top of the fifth and yielded two runs to make it 8-2. Beattie was his own worst enemy, walking three batters and surrendering a double to Ferguson and a run-scoring single by Guidara.
Carson put together a nice rally in the seventh against reliever Beau Cullen.
Danny Gall walked with one out, but was forced at second by Shea Bondi. Petersen walked and Beattie singled home Bondi. Austin Pacheco followed with a two-run double to make it 8-5, but that’s as close as the Senators would get.
The sweep by Galena avenged last year’s series win by the Senators.
“It’s a different year and they’re a different team,” Galena coach Ron McNutt said. “We’ve come a long way from last year. We didn’t quite make it last year. Our goal is to get to the playoffs.”