Crushers split in USABA World Series
GARDNERVILLE — The Carson Crushers knew they were a much better baseball team than they showed in pool play of the USABA 15 and under World Series.
Carson went 1-4 in pool play, but played much better as the double elimination tournament began on Thursday at Lampe Park. The Crushers opened with a 9-6 win over the Vacaville (Calif.) Blue Jays before losing to the No. 1 seed, the Tri-County Hurricanes of Fresno, Calif. 8-0 in a game that was competitive until the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Crushers will play at 4 p.m. today at Douglas High and will need a win to stay alive in the tournament. Action at James Lee Park was halted due to lightning in the area on Thursday. Due to the weather, games scheduled for James Lee Park have been moved to Douglas.
CARSON 9, VACAVILLE 6
Winning pitcher Nick Smallman settled down after a rocky first inning. After giving up four runs on five hits in the first, Smallman went 6 1/3 innings for the win. He held Vacaville to two unearned runs and one hit after the first. Christian Volker came in and got two strikeouts for the last two outs for the save.
The Crushers closed to within 4-2 in the bottom of the first when Jeremiah Teeter singled, stole second and third and scored on Logan Parsley’s sacrifice fly. Royal Good was then hit by a pitch, stole second and third and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Carson took an 8-4 lead in the second. Bryt Lewis was hit by a pitch and pinch runner T.J. Hein stole second. Teeter singled and Parsley followed with a two-run single.
The Crushers scored two runs on errors and another run on a passed ball before Kyle Mandoki’s RBI single made it 8-4. Carson took a 9-5 lead in the fifth when Parsley doubled and scored on Good’s single.
After allowing a leadoff double in the sixth, Smallman got some help from his defense. Hein, the catcher, made a diving catch of a popup in foul territory on a bunt attempt and Good caught a line drive at short and stepped on second for an inning ending double play. Hein also threw out a runner trying to steal in the third.
“He’s a good athlete,” said Carson assistant coach Cal Lewis about Smallman. “He’s going to be a good ball player. He’s just clutch, that’s all I can say about him.”
Two walks and an error chased Smallman in the seventh. After walking the first batter he faced to force in a run, Volker struck out the next two batters to end the game.
“I really like his curveball,” said coach Lewis about Volker. “He’s going to be a good pitcher if he works at it.”
Teeter had two hits and four stolen bases, Mandoki and Good each had two hits and Jack Maloney added a hit.
TRI-COUNTY 8, CARSON 0
Despite hitting the ball hard throughout the game, Carson was limited to two hits, both coming in the fourth.
“I’m really happy with the way they hit the ball,” coach Lewis said. “We hit the ball hard. It seemed we hit the ball hard every inning.”
Carson got an outstanding defensive play in the first on an RBI double that gave Tri-County a 1-0 lead. But Parsley, the shortstop, took a throw from left fielder Tony Fagan and hit catcher Kyle Cahill with a perfect relay to nail the second runner trying to score from first to end the inning.
Coach Lewis was pleased with his team’s defensive play, especially the infield. “Defensively I thought our infield did awesome,” he said.
In the fourth, Carson had a chance to tie the game when Good and Mandoki singled to give the Crushers runners at first and third. But Fagan lined out to center to end the inning.
Jack Jacquet pitched well for Carson and was the victim of some bad luck as Tri-County scored two runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth as the game was called due to the eight-run rule.
“Jack did an awesome job,” coach Lewis said. “He got ahead of every hitter. There were not too many balls. I was impressed with Jack.”
Carson notes: Lewis, a Douglas High graduate, will be a redshirt freshman for Feather River Community College’s baseball team next year.