Medina slam sends CHS to first-round loss
With one swing of his bat, Jorge Medina has put Carson High on the brink of elimination in the NIAA 4A regional baseball playoffs.
Medina’s fourth-inning grandslam, his first at any level of baseball, keyed a six-run fourth inning and propelled the Grizzlies to an 8-2 win Tuesday over the Senators at Ron McNutt Field.
The loss put Carson into the loser’s bracket of th eight-team double-elimination tournament. The Senators, who are 14-14-1 overall, face arch-rival Douglas today at 4 in an elimination game at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson coach Cody Farnworth said that Jace Zampirro, who many expected to throw against Galena, will start today.
Zampirro has won his last two outings, beating Galena 7-3 and Douglas 6-1. He beat the Tigers, allowing four hits in 6-plus innings of work.
“We have to rebound and play a lot better today against Douglas,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. “We looked at the (pitching) stat and felt confident with Drew (Moreland) on the mound.”
It wasn’t Moreland’s best day, however. His pitch location wasn’t as good as it usually is, and the Grizzlies took advantage from the outset.
Moreland retired the first two hitters of the game, but surrendered doubles to Ryan Ford and Cole Fenner plus a single to Zack Parkinson. He did manage to escape with just one run being scored, escaping a two-out bases-loaded situation.
Carson knotted the game at 1 in the bottom of the second against Beau Cullen when Luke Maher reached on an infield single, moved to second on Casey Wolfe’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Carter Nuckolls, who went 2-for-3 in the game.
After a scoreless third inning for both teams, the Grizzlies busted it open in the fourth, knocking out Moreland in the process.
Tim Lichty walked, the fourth free pass Moreland issued. A single by Andrew Hunter and a hit batsman loaded the bases. Medina followed with his blast over the 360-foot sign in left-centerfield on an 0-1 pitch.
Medina thought it was a curveball, but Moreland said it was a fastball.
“The first pitch I had a bad swing on a high pitch,” Medina said. “He left it up a little bit and I did what I could with it.”
“He’s been with me three years and he’s always been a clutch guy for us,” Galena coach Ron McNutt said.
Farnworth said he contemplated bringing Cole Dufresne in with the bases loaded, but admitted he didn’t feel very comfortable doing it.
“It was up and in and he turned on it,” Farnworth said. “It was supposed to be a fastball up and in, at least that’s what we called. We didn’t get any run support for him.”
Dufresne walked Michael Jones, who promptly stole second. Ford followed with a run-scoring single. After a sacrifice bunt by Parkinson, Sean Pferschy delivered a run-scoring single to make it 7-1.
Carson scored its final run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice and singles by Nuckolls and TJ Thomsen.
Cullen, who allowed six hits, retired eight of the last nine hitters he faced to end the game.
“My hats off to Beau,” McNutt said. “He had a little groin pull, but pitched through it. The last couple of innings he didn’t just throw his fastball. He started to be a pitcher and not just a thrower.”