Douglas High baseball rallies past Carson High
MINDEN — Carson High baseball coach Bryan Manoukian wasted no time when it came to make a pitching change on Wednesday afternoon. Protecting a one-run lead with two runners aboard in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Senators turned the ball over to ace pitcher Bryce Moyle.
It wasn’t enough to deny a Douglas team that was playing for its playoff life, however, as Tigers pushed across single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull out a 7-6 walk-off victory.
Kindel Isham hit a seeing-eye infield single that brought Riley Wilkinson home from second base to score the winning run with two outs in the seventh inning of the rivalry contest at Tiger Field.
By winning, Douglas (9-12 league, 12-14 overall) moved up to within one game in a four-team logjam for the final two seeds in the Northern 4A playoff race. Carson (10-11, 15-14) is tied with Reed and Wooster for the seventh through ninth positions.
Carson hosts Douglas to wrap up the regular season tonight at 7 p.m. at Ron McNutt Field.
Manoukian had no intention to play it safe on Wednesday.
“This is the time of year … you’re on the road and the game’s on the line … you go for it,” he said. “We had our best guy out there, they had their best guy out there, we just came up one run short.”
Douglas senior Isaiah Schat, a third-year varsity veteran, came on to pitch in the top of the seventh and retired three of the four batters he faced (two on strikeouts) to put the Tigers in position to win.
Wilkinson lined a single into center field to lead off the bottom of the seventh then moved over to second base on a passed ball. Moyle set down the next two batters on strikeouts before Isham hit a chopper up the middle that dribbled between two infielders as the Tigers improved their season record to 2-4 in walk-off decisions.
“I’ve got to give Riley credit for getting into scoring position,” Isham said. “He (Moyle) threw a good pitch — it was a curveball — I just wanted to put it in play and make something happen.”
Isham scored the tying run in the sixth after he was hit by a pitch and came home when Haden Keller was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Moyle gave up a walk to the first batter he faced, as Futch drew a full-count free pass to load the bases, and Keller brought home the tying run before Moyle retired the side on a strikeout.
Douglas finished the game with 11 hits and also had five hit batsmen.
The Senators had 12 hits, eight of which came in the opening three innings when they scored all six of their runs. In the end, they left nine base runners stranded and failed to capitalize on a bases loaded, one-out opportunity in the fifth inning.
“We had our opportunities to put the game away and we didn’t do it,” Manoukian said.
Carson scored five times in the second inning to take a 6-4 lead. Colby Zemp hit a double into the left-center field gap to lead off the rally and then scored when Trevor Edis singled down the left field line. Luke Myers reached on a bunt single and Jesse Lopez loaded the bases on an infield single. Moyle drove one run home on a long sacrifice fly to right field, another run scored when Abel Carter’s pop fly was misplayed for an error and Jace Keema followed with an RBI single to center field to give Carson a 5-4 lead. Carter scored after Landon Truesdale beat a throw to first base to avoid a double play.
The Senators experienced misfortune moments later, however, when Truesdale was thrown out at second base on a stolen base attempt by Douglas catcher Tristan Futch. Truesdale, who also drove a run home with an infield single in the first inning, injured his shoulder on the play and was forced to leave the game.
Douglas took a 4-1 lead in the first inning, aided by infield hits from Futch and Spencer Trivitt and Hunter Simpson’s two-run single into center field.
Jayden Foster started and pitched 5.1 innings for the Tigers. Carson’s Ben Nelson allowed four runs in the first inning — three batters took him to full-count situations — and eventually gave way to reliever Kyle Glannzman with one out in the fourth inning.
Manoukian didn’t commit to the pitching availability of Moyle for tonight’s game. The senior left-hander faced seven batters.
“We’ll have to talk about that,” the coach said. “I haven’t seen his pitch count so I can’t say for sure.”