Galena knocks Carson High baseball into loser’s bracket
RENO — For the second time in less than a week, it’s win or go home for the Carson High baseball team.
The visiting Senators dropped into the loser’s bracket of the NIAA 4A regionals after losing 4-1 to Galena on Tuesday.
It was the third straight win for the Grizzlies over Carson this year. The Senators host Damonte, a 9-0 loser to Spanish Springs, in an elimination game today at Ron McNutt Field at 4 p.m.
“We’re used to it,” said senior Bryce Moyle. “We faced that on Senior Night. I’m not worried, I know we can go out and beat Damonte.”
Carson split the regular season meetings against the Mustangs, taking the road game 11-0 on Ben Nelson’s shutout and then losing a 5-3 decision at Carson.
“That was a 2-1 ball game,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “You have to tip your hat to them. They get a single that doesn’t leave the infield in the first inning and they end up getting two runs. On the goofy play on the passed ball/wild pitch, runners advanced and we don’t get a run.
“We did a good job of establishing ourselves at the plate, but we couldn’t get the next hit to drive up the score. We did a much better job offensively than we did the first time (against Nate Brown).”
Brown set Carson down on five hits in the first meeting, but Carson reached that five hit plateau in the first three innings. The Senators, however, couldn’t come up with the clutch hit. Carson went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Carson got Jesse Lopez to second with one out in the first, but Brown struck out Abel Carter and got Jace Keema on a fly ball to left.
Mateo Lemus reached on an infield single in the first against Moyle, moved to third on Tommy Lichty’s double to right, and both runners scored on Niko Pezonella’s single to make it 2-0.
Carson got another runner to second in the second inning when Kahle Good reached on an error and got to second on Jared Barnard’s infield out. Trevor Edis struck out, but Brandon Gagnon delivered a run-scoring single to make it 2-1. Luke Myers beat out a bunt, but both runners were stranded when Lopez grounded out.
The Senators’ last big threat came in the third when Carter and Keema hit one-out singles. Good struck out and Barnard rolled to second.
Brown was lights out the rest of the way, retiring 14 of the last 15 he faced.
The Grizzlies padded their lead with a run in the fourth.
With the bases loaded and a 1-2 count on Pezonella, Moyle uncorked a high fastball that went to the backstop. Austin Crofoot, who was on third after singling, started for home, but held up when Edis fired a strike to Moyle covering the plate.
Lichty, who had been walked intentionally, was way off first. Moyle threw down to Kahle Good.
Lichty got into a rundown and apparently got under Keema’s tag at second which allowed Crofoot to score.
“The first baseman (Good) needed to get rid of the ball to the shortstop (earlier); as soon as possible and let the shortstop make the play,” Manoukian said. “It’s a tough play to practice and set up, and our first baseman has only played seven or eight games there.”
Galena tacked on another run in the sixth when Andrew West slammed a low 1-2 fastball over the fence.
“I’m pretty sure that pitch that West hit, hit the ground first,” Moyle said. “It was a pretty good pitch.
“I didn’t think I threw that bad (of a game). This is an offensive park, and they got the barrel on the ball a couple of times.”
“Bryce did what Bryce does,” Manoukian said. “Their hitters did a good job forcing him into their zone. He settled down and competed which is what I would expect out of a senior.”
NOTES: Manoukian said he doesn’t know who the starter will be today. The likely candidate is Barnard, who the Mustangs didn’t see in the regular season. Nelson and Derek Schafer are also possibilities … Landon Truesdale didn’t play … The top four hitters in Carson’s lineup went 3-for-12 against Brown.