Carson’s boys of winter sweep a pair
Appeal Sports Writer
Whatever you do, just don’t call the Carson High School baseball team the Boys of Summer. By the time they swept their first two games of the year on Thursday, the Senators looked like some icicles from Christmas past.
But just as the March sky opened up its floodgates with late-winter snow, the Carson bats broke loose as well, taking a season-opening 12-4 win over South Tahoe in its first game of its Carson High School Pre-Season Baseball Tournament at Ron McNutt Field.
The game was stopped in the bottom of the fourth inning because of the tournament’s eight-run mercy rule.
Carson’s second game – a 12-0 victory over Sparks – was called in the bottom of the second inning because of snow.
“This is what you get for living next to a mountain,” said second-year Carson coach Steve Cook of the foul weather. “We were successful as far as the tournament – we got most of the games off. The coaches were really good rolling with the punches.”
The Senators’ season got off to an inauspicious start, as South Tahoe jumped out to 3-0 lead in the top of the first. The Vikings managed two hits in the inning, including a two-run double by first baseman Zach Kropf, which scored Stephen Yarrow (who reached base on catcher’s interference) and David Schor, who walked.
South Tahoe catcher Buck Pershing led off the scoring when he scored on a passed ball.
Carson came right back in the bottom of the first, when a Logan Parsley double drove in center fielder Royal Good, who led off the inning with a single.
With the bases loaded, right fielder Tony Fagan hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in shortstop Kevin Schlange to make it 3-2.
South Tahoe pitcher Jason Winslow walked first baseman T.J. Hein with the bases loaded, scoring Parsley and tying it 3-3. Winslow lasted 1 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and six hits, while walking four and striking out one.
Although South Tahoe got on the board in the second, when Blaine Inglis scored from third on an error at first (making it 4-3), it was Carson which dominated the rest of the way.
The Senators scored six more runs in the second, two in the third and Schlange knocked in the final run in the fourth to end the game.
Junior Nick Smallman went the distance on the mound for the Senators, giving up four runs on only three hits. He also struck out four, while walking three and hitting two batters.
“Nick had a rough first inning, but we produced runs early to keep us in the game,” Cook said. “Our kids battled back every inning. After Nick calmed down, he threw a better game.”
South Tahoe reliever Bo Hallum pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief, giving up four runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking one. Inglis pitched to two batters in the fourth.
Fagan went 2-for-3 and led the Senators with four RBI, including two on a double in the second inning to give Carson a 5-4 lead. One batter later Jeremiah Teeter added an RBI-single to make it 6-4.
Fagan and catcher Brooks Greenlee scored on a throwing error at third for an 8-4 lead and Hein rounded out the scoring in the second when he scored from third on a Hallum wild pitch.
Designated hitter Jack Jacquet knocked in Schlange on a fielders choice for a 10-4 lead and Fagan added an RBI-single to score Parsley in the third to make it 11-4.
“Tahoe got us last year and the kids remembered that,” Cook said. “We had an issue playing catch – we had a little trouble. I thought Royal Good (2-for-2, with an RBI) had a good game getting on base. He and Schlange had back-to-back (bunts in the second). I like playing small ball – we all can hit, so we’ll try to do that (bunt) this year. It puts pressure on the defense playing against us when we bunt and run.”
Sparks felt the pressure early in the second game, facing 10 batters and giving up six runs in the first inning.
Center fielder Joe Skates scored on Jacquet’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. A Lied double scored Markus Adams and Greenlee to make it 3-0, then with the bases once again loaded, Johnny Hazeltine’s RBI single scored Jacquet.
Sparks’ Anthony Nichols then walked Jack Maloney with the bases loaded and then Leid scored on Skates’ fielder’s choice for the 6-0 lead.
Nichols allowed six runs, three hits, walked three and hit one batter in one inning of work. David Dennis finished the game for Sparks, giving up six runs and six hits.
Senior Josh Caron pitched all two-plus shutout innings for Carson, giving up two hits, walking three and striking out four in spite of the bitter cold.
“When Josh came out he couldn’t feel his hands or legs,” Cook said. “He had a tough time with his grip, but he was still able to throw strikes.”
Jacquet (an RBI-single), Rob Valerius (an RBI-single), Skates (a 2-RBI double) and Adams (a 2-RBI double) rounded out the scoring for Carson in the bottom of the second.
“We wanted to get everybody out there,” Cook said. “Skates did a good job in the leadoff hole for us in the second game. He was one of the new kids on the block. Adams had a good game. He learned our defensive system – positioning, signs – and he’s picking up his game offensively.”
All in all, it wasn’t a bad way to begin the season – weather and all.
“Two-and-oh. That’s good,” Cook said. “As long as we get a little bit better each game, I’m happy. We’ve had nothing but bad weather since try-outs. We’re a little behind everyone. I hope this weather goes away and we can play (today).”
Carson is scheduled to play Elko at 11 a.m. and Spring Creek at 7 p.m. today at Ron McNutt Field.
“We’re staring down the barrel of league play,” Cook said. “We play Douglas (next Thursday). Douglas-Carson – you can throw the records out the window. It’s one of the toughest games of the year. We have a week from today to get where we need to be. You have to do what you can with the weather situation. We’ll do our best to get there.”