Damonte extends Carson High’s losing streak | NevadaAppeal.com

Damonte extends Carson High’s losing streak

Darrell Moody
Max Fontaine delivers a pitch to a Damonte Ranch batter on Tuesday.
Jim Grant | Nevada Appeal

It has been a nightmarish 12 days for the Carson High baseball team.

The Senators’ losing streak reached seven games with an 11-1 mercy rule loss to Damonte Ranch on Tuesday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.

In the past seven games, Carson has scored 21 runs, or an average of three a game. In the past four games, Carson has scored three runs and collected 16 hits and been shut out twice and scored one run and two runs, respectively, in the other two losses.

It hasn’t just been one issue with Carson. In the two games the Senators hit well (17-10 loss to McQueen and 14-6 to Galena), their pitchers struggled. On days where the pitching has been solid, the run support hasn’t been there.

The losing streak has Carson fighting for its playoff life with five games left in the regular season. Carson visits Damonte on Thursday, hosts Wooster for a Saturday doubleheader, and then concludes the season with a home game next Wednesday against Douglas and a Thursday game at Douglas.

“We have to win some games to make the playoffs,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “The other teams are not going to keep losing. We have our work cut out for us.”

Tuesday, Carson didn’t get any hitting or pitching. Carson managed just five hits, and for the second time since the losing skid started, Vernon Painter gave up a big number in the first inning.

Against Galena, he gave up 10 runs, and on Tuesday, he yielded a six-run first.

“I don’t think he’s done anything different (warm-up wise) since the Spanish Springs game,” Manoukian said. “You have to throw strikes and not fall behind.”

In the first inning, Painter threw four first-pitch strikes (he faced 11 hitters). Each time he fell behind, Damonte got a hit or a walk.

Zach Rigdon and Jerry Thomas each drove in two runs, and Hunter Donithan and Chris Rosa drove in one each.

“There were a couple of balls that we didn’t hit hard,” Damonte coach Jon Polson said. “We had a couple of seeing-eye groundballs that went through. It was big to start like that. We wanted to tack on every inning and we were close to doing that.”

The only time the Mustangs didn’t score was in the second.

Damonte made it 8-0 in the third when Donithan hit a one-out triple and scored on Michael McDade’s sacrifice fly. Rigdon re-started the inning with a two-out walk, moved to third on a single by Jacob Bercovich and scored on a wild pitch.

In the fourth, Michael Nichols singled home a run against reliever Max Fontaine, who lasted just one inning. In the fifth, two walks, a single by Esteban Lopez and a wild pitch made it 10-0.

Abel Carter managed to extend the game one inning when he hit a run-scoring single off Jadon Bercovich. Ben Nelson set up the score when he hit a double to the fence in center, and then was replaced on the basepaths by Kobe Morgan.

Bercovich, from the first through the fifth, retired 14 of 15 hitters before Nelson’s double.

“Our guy pitched really well,” Polson said. “You get that early lead, and its just a matter of throwing strikes and don’t self-inflict any damage (walks and errors). A nice way to start the game.”

“It is always hard to hit from behind (in the score),” Manoukian said. “It puts added pressure on them to be successful right away. You start to press too much instead of see the ball and hit the ball.”