McQueen ends Carson High’s baseball season
RENO — The win-loss record doesn’t tell the story of the 2018 Carson High baseball team.
The gritty Senators finished 15-19 overall after being eliminated from the 4A regional playoffs by McQueen, 7-6, Wednesday afternoon at Kuraisa Field.
And, like they have so many times this season, the Senators went down fighting. Carson lost 10 of its 19 games by three runs or fewer.
This one was especially tough to take because of the way the team rebounded after its awful showing in a 10-0 loss to Reno on Tuesday. The Senators, who had 11 hits, stranded five runners in their last two at-bats.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what it had to overcome,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said, referring to the death of Tim Jones in a November automobile accident. “They battled all season, and they battled today.
“This team may not be remembered for its record, but they will be remembered for the type of student-athletes they are and the type of human beings I know they will become.”
Kind words to be sure, but this had to sting in a big way. A hit in the sixth or seventh, and it could have been a different story.
Leading 6-5 entering the sixth, the Senators threatened to pad their lead.
Abel Carter walked and advanced to second on Joe Tonino’s sacrifice bunt. Kahle Good grounded to third, forcing Carter to stay at second. Landon Truesdale followed with an infield single that sent Carter to third. Logan Anderson did a good job to keep the ball in the infield, saving a potential run.
Truesdale stole second but McQueen starter Austin Parry fanned losing pitcher Vernon Painter to end the threat.
“That play (by the shortstop) won the game for them,” Manoukian said. “Abel said that to me when he got over to third. Five feet either way and I’m sending Abel.”
Painter gave up a single to Parry to start the bottom of the sixth, and then picked him off. Mason Winship singled and Zach Foster followed with a groundball back to the box. Painter bobbled the ball and was able to get just one out instead of an inning-ending double play.
That loomed large, because three pitches later Kenny Allen blasted a 2-0 fastball over the wall for what proved to be the game-winning hit.
“We seem to be scoring all of our runs with two outs,” McQueen coach Spencer Downie said. “All of our runs yesterday (against Galena) came with two out, and all of them today were after two outs.”
Jared Barnard opened the seventh with a walk, and he was replaced on the basepaths by Kobe Morgan. Teigen Key was retired on a fly ball to center, but Kyle Glanzmann kept the inning alive with a single to send Morgan to second. Carter followed with a chopper over the middle. Anderson tried to flip it to second baseman Matt Farman, who was off the bag. The infield hit loaded the bases. Had the ball gone through, Morgan may have scored from second base.
Tonino followed with a groundball to third, forcing Glanzmann at third and ending the game.
“Give McQueen credit,” Manoukian said. “They got behind early and kept battling.”
The Lancers trailed 6-4 after three innings thanks to a power surge by senior right fielder Colby Zemp, who went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs in his final high school game.
Zemp hit a three-run homer in the first to give the Senators a 4-0 lead. Carter tripled and scored in the second to make it 5-0, but the Lancers battled back and scored four times in the bottom of the inning, three runs coming on a Winship homer.
Zemp made it 6-4 in the third when he hit a solo homer. It was his first two homers of the season and his first multi-homer game of his high school career.
“In Little League I had a few (multi-homer games),” Zemp said. “It’s the first time in high school. The second one I had a better feeling about. When I hit the first one, I thought it was a pop fly.”
The score stayed that way until McQueen scored an unearned run in the fifth to make it 6-5.