Fagan, Greenlee lead Cardinals past Dawgs
Appeal Sports Writer
Tony Fagan and Brooks Greenlee took turns pitching and delivering clutch hits as they helped the Carson Cardinals defeated the Ridgecrest (Calif.) Desert Dawgs 5-4 in a nine-inning summer baseball contest Tuesday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.
Fagan started and pitched seven solid innings, then drove home the go-ahead run with a two-out infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Meanwhile, Greenlee hit a three-run double in the third inning to give Carson a 4-2 lead, then closed the door with two shutout innings of relief to pick up the win.
It was a good win for the Cardinals, who were coming off a fourth-place finish over the weekend at the Dr. Stewart’s Invitational in Roseburg, Ore. Getting nine innings of six-hit ball with only three walks from Fagan and Greenlee was even better, especially since both have been on the mend from injuries.
“That’s real big for us because we need pitchers,” Cardinals coach Steve Cook said. “I was happy to see them throw strikes and without any major pain.”
Fagan, who broke his hand early in March at the start of Carson High’s spring season, allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits to go with seven strikeouts and one walk during his seven innings of work. He retired eight batters on ground ball outs, including a 1-2-3 double play to escape from a jam in the sixth.
“This was the first time since I broke my hand I’ve been able to throw seven innings,” said Fagan, junior-to-be at Carson High. “I thought I threw well. I threw easy and I threw strikes, which helped me get ground balls.”
Greenlee faced eight batters in his two innings, gave up one hit and two walks. The right-hander helped his own cause with two strikeouts and a pickoff in his first mound appearance since sustaining an elbow injury last summer.
“I’ve been begging coach to let me pitch and he finally said OK,” Greenlee said. “He just let me throw fast balls and changeups, no curves. I was happy about the way I was able to throw, and I was happy Tony got that clutch hit in the last inning.”
Royal Good walked with one out in the eighth, stole second and third, then scored on Fagan’s chopper to the hole at shortstop to give Carson its 5-4 lead.
The Desert Dawgs took a 2-0 lead on a two-out error in the first inning, only to see the Cardinals come back with four runs in the third. Sean Costella drew a leadoff walk, then Nick Smallman and Good walked to load the bases with one out. The runners held their bases when Ridgecrest left fielder Doug Reidmiller made a diving catch of Jeremiah Teeter’s line drive for the second out, then Kevin Schlange reached on an infield hit to make it 2-1. Moments later, Greenlee hit a drive off the Dr. Pepper sign in left field to clear the bases.
The Desert Dawgs tied the score 4-4 with two runs in the seventh. Cubby Saulque doubled and Clint Williamson walked to open the rally, both runners advanced on a one-out throwing error, then Wes Oliver and Kyle Tullis followed with RBI singles.
Fagan worked out of a bases loaded threat in the sixth when he collaborated with catcher David Leid and T.J. Hein at first base to turn an inning-ending double play.
Oliver pitched seven solid innings for the Desert Dawgs, allowing four runs on three hits to go with eight strikeouts and five walks.
n Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.