Douglas baseball sweeps the Senators
With the exception of a 15-minute delay in the bottom of the sixth inning while the home plate umpire had to use the facilities, Douglas’ senior day couldn’t have gone any smoother.
Chad Walling pitched a complete game with four strikeouts in game one to lead the Tiger baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Carson in the opener of the doubleheader and the Senators had a complete meltdown on defense in game two, committing nine errors – seven in the first three innings – as Douglas cruised to a 13-5 win.
“This was good for the seniors,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “You always like to send them out on a good note and two wins at home against Carson is a good way to do it.”
Douglas wrapped up its regular season with a 24-7-1 record overall, a 17-1 record in league play and a pristine 12-1 record at home.
“It was real important to be able to bounce back from Thursday (a 6-5 loss in the 11th inning at Carson),” Glover said. “I’m a big believer that a team needs some momentum going into the zone tournament.
“It doesn’t necessarily have as much to do with where you are seeded. That’s not as a important as how you are playing heading into this second part of the season. The teams that are playing the best at the end of the year usually go through and do well.”
It didn’t take Douglas long to get the momentum rolling Saturday morning.
Walling sat down the entire Senators lineup in order through the first three innings before surrendering his first hit of the day, a double to Royal Good to lead off the third.
Through six innings, he’d allowed just three hits and no runs.
Douglas catcher Roman Davis played an integral role in keeping the Senators from running the bases, throwing out three runners attempting to steal second and allowing only one stolen base on the afternoon.
“That was big,” Glover said. “Roman has been doing a great job defensively for us all year, and sometimes it really goes unnoticed.
“He is solid back there and it is tough for some teams to do what they want to do with him back there.”
Offensively, Douglas benefited from some early control problems by Carson starter Kyle Mandoki.
Mandoki hit three batters with pitches in the first inning and gave up two runs before Kyle Luken hit a sharp line drive into Mandoki’s midsection, knocking him off his feet. Mandoki managed to hold onto the ball, however, and ended up settling down nicely from that point.
He retired six of the next nine batters he faced and held the Tigers scoreless through the next three innings. Mandoki finished with four strikeouts for the game.
Douglas wrapped up its scoring for the game in the fifth inning as D.J. Brady drew a walk to open the frame and Luken followed with a single to left.
Phil Mannelly advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Roman Davis singled to center field to bring both runners across home.
Carson got its only scoring of the game in the top of the seventh as Logan Parsley reached with a one-out single to left.
Adam Anderson singled with two outs and Derek Shoaf reached on an error, allowing Anderson to score.
Walling was able to get a strikeout to get out of the inning and the game with the win.
In game two, Douglas’ Chris Balcom picked up his second win of the season, striking out four and walking two in five innings of work. Tyson Estes closed out the game on the mound for the Tigers, striking out three in relief.
Carson committed six errors, four coming from its middle infielders, through the first two innings and Douglas was able to capitalize with four early runs.
“That was just one of those things,” Glover said. “We were able to hit the ball hard, and sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”
Phil Mannelly led the Tigers with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate. Chad Walling went 2-for-2 with three stolen bases, an RBI and two runs scored and Jimmy Pierce went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a double and a stolen base.
Douglas held an 8-5 lead entering the bottom of the sixth before being able to break the game wide open.
Walling led the inning off with a single to left and Spike Agosta drew a walk. Walling stole third and scored on a throwing error before Pierce singled to bring Agosta home. Pierce later scored on a passed ball and Kyle Luken walked, at which point the plate umpire called for a timeout and left the field to use the facilities.
The game was delayed for about 15 minutes, and once play resumed Carson issued three two-out walks, and committed an error which allowed two final runs to score.
Estes issued a walk to open the seventh, but then recorded three straight strikeouts to end the game.
Carson was led by Murph Gardner, who went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.