Douglas finishes off sweep of Carson
The Carson and Douglas High baseball teams played out their version of a Dickens tale during their two-game series which became the final chapter for how the season went for the two clubs.
When it has come to one-run games this season, it has been the best of times for Douglas and the worst of times for Carson. The Tigers won their second straight one-run game against Carson to sweep the two-game series, beating the Senators 2-1 on Thursday at Ron McNutt Field.
Douglas also beat Carson on Wednesday 5-4 in nine innings at home to clinch a Northern 4A playoff berth while eliminating from the playoff race in the process.
The Tigers have gone 6-1 in one-run games this season. “We’re ready for the playoffs,” Douglas coach Don Amaral said. “We’re playing sold baseball. We’re playing good ball.”
For the Senators, it was another in a series of frustrating one-run or extra inning losses that have haunted them throughout the season to end the year. CHS ended the year with three straight one-run losses, losing to Manogue 4-3 and then twice by one run against Douglas.
But Carson coach Bryan Manoukian stressed how proud he was of his young team that has a bright future. “The competitive spirit is there,” he said, “The fight. We’ve got a lot of positives going forward. They didn’t quit. The stuck together.”
Carson’s Vernon Painter and the Tigers’ Luke Ackerman and Gage Hoyle were locked in a pitchers duel. Amaral said either Ackerman or Chris Thacker will start when Douglas opens the playoffs on Tuesday. Thacker was so dominant in picking the win in relief on Wednesday, pitching 3 1/3 scorless innings while striking out seven.
Ackerman allowed one run over three innings. Hoyle picked up the win in relief, striking out six over four scoreless innings. “We want to make some noise,” said Amaral about the playoffs. “I’m really six-deep with pitchers.”
CHS took a 1-0 lead in the first when Delsin Roberts doubled and scored on Casey Martensen’s double. Painter received help in the second from his catcher Bryce Baker when he struck out the batter on a 3-2 pitch, then Baker picked off the runner at first for a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out, inning-ending double play. Baker also caught a runner trying to steal in the third.
Douglas tied the score 1-1 in the fourth after Dario Watroba was hit by a pitch and stole second. After Thacker singled, Ayden Murphy hit an RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Douglas broke through for the go-ahead run in the seventh after Cuinn Doherty led off with a single. Eli Lyons came on as a pinch runner and moved to second on Adam Garren’s sacrifice bunt. Garren reached on an error on the play. Camden Brown followed with an RBI single to give Douglas a 2-1 lead.
Painter allowed one run while striking out eight over six innings. “He gave us everything he had,” Manoukian said. “To hold that Douglas team to one run is a really good effort.”
Doherty had two hits and Aiden Budden and Adam Garren each added a hit for Douglas. Martensen had two hits, Kahle Good doubled and Kenny Adeylotte and Painter each added a hit for CHS.