Douglas’ Van Winkle downs Carson baseball team |

Douglas’ Van Winkle downs Carson baseball team

Darrell Moody

It was the first game of the Sierra League season, and Douglas High’s Kameron Van Winkle already is in mid-season form.

Van Winkle fanned six batters and scattered six hits to lead the Tigers to a 5-2 win over Carson on Thursday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.

The teams will continue their three-game series Saturday with an 11 a.m. doubleheader at Douglas. Douglas is now 3-2 overall, while Carson fell to 1-3.

“I thought he threw a good game,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “He walked one and hit one and threw key pitches for strikes. We don’t know their hitters very well. Kameron when he gets the ball down in the zone is a groundball pitcher. I think our defense did a good job.”

Van Winkle showed good command of both his fastball and curveball. He needed just 83 pitches to seal the win.

“I was just trying to get ahead no matter what pitch I threw,” said the Douglas right-hander. “I was just trying to keep them off balance with the curveball. I’m happy (with my command), but I’m more happy with the defense. They did a very good job.”

Douglas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning despite the fact that Colby Blueberg struck out the side. Blueberg was called for a balk, which scored Danny King, who started the game with an infield single.

The Tigers added two more in the third, taking advantage of a two-run throwing error by Nick Domitrovich and another balk by Blueberg, who allowed three earned runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.

“It’s like I told the kids, you can’t make mistakes against a team like Douglas, throwing the ball, fielding the ball and balks,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “Douglas will make you pay.

“I thought he (Blueberg) threw well. We didn’t back him up at first. We had a couple of errors and he had the two balks. I thought he did a good job. Is there room for improvement? Sure. We still have a goal (to win every series), but we have to come out and play.”

Carson closed the gap to 3-1 in the third when Austin Pacheco slammed a homer well over the fence in left field.

“It was a fastball down the middle,” Pacheco said. “He (Van Winkle) is a good pitcher. We weren’t in it. I think everyone had a little (case of) nerves. We battled in the second half of the game.”

Carson threatened in the fourth, putting runners on first and third with one out. However, Van Winkle retired David Feltner on a comebacker and struck out David Charles looking to end the inning.

Scott Rudnick’s triple led to another Douglas run in the fourth to make it 4-1. Van Winkle helped his own cause in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

The Senators finally got things going in the bottom of the seventh when Feltner singled and moved to second when Rudnick threw wildly to second trying to force him out on Blake Plattsmier’s groundball. Cam Mayville singled home Feltner to make it 5-2.

The rally fizzled when the Senators failed to execute a hit-and-run, and Plattsmier was thrown out at third for the first out. Pacheco was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, but Van Winkle retired Blueberg and Brock Pradere to end the game.

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Bruce McIntosh hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 10-all tie and give the Senators a win over their archrival.

Douglas led 10-8 entering the bottom of the sixth. Dion Copoulos and Carter Knuckolls tied the game at 10 with run-scoring singles, setting the stage for McIntosh’s heroics.

McIntosh went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Copoulos went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Charlie Banfield added a homer and single, and Knuckolls also finished with two hits. Casey Wolf and Tyler Valley added a hit and RBI apiece.

Valley picked up the win with one scoreless inning of relief.