PREPS: Carson eliminates Damonte 6-2
RENO – Aside from his 1-hitter last summer, Carson High senior Adam Whitt said Wednesday’s 4-hit effort against Damonte Ranch truly stands out as one of his best efforts.
Whitt threw just 95 pitches and fanned nine, and Brock Pradere hit a three-run triple in the second inning to lead the Senators to a 6-2 win in a Northern 4A Regional elimination game at Galena High School.
Carson, 21-10 overall, advances in the loser’s bracket to play Galena today at 1 at Galena. Sophomore Charlie Banfield is expected to start on the mound for the Senators.
Whitt was in command throughout. He retired the last eight batters and didn’t give up a hit in the last 3.2 innings.
“It probably was my best,” Whitt said. “I haven’t been hit that hard. Today, the defense really picked me up and helped me out.”
Whitt alluded to a diving catch by Chance Quilling in the first inning and a line drive that shortstop Nick Domitrovich turned into an unassisted double play. Other than that it was a rather mundane day for Carson, which after Wednesday’s blowout loss to Spanish Springs was very much welcomed.
“He had one bad inning,” Carson coach Cody Farnworth said of Whitt’s effort. “When he’s out there, I tell him to be a pitcher and not a thrower. Now, he’s starting to change his arm angle.”
Simply put, it means the ball is coming at different angles, thus giving opposing hitters more things to worry about if hitting wasn’t hard enough already.
Unlike Wednesday when Carson made three errors and failed to make a play on another ball, the Senators made just one error, and that was by Whitt in the fifth inning on a bunt by Max Heckendorn.
Damonte got a runner to third in the first, but Whitt struck out Justin Bridgman and Trent Beers to end the threat.
Whitt breezed through the second and third innings, but was touched for two runs in top of the fourth thanks to three hits and a hit batsman.
No big deal, because by that time Carson had built up a 4-0 lead.
Three of those runs came in the second, and the Senators probably should have scored more.
Quilling and Rory Petersen opened the innings with singles. Whitt dropped down a bunt and Damonte pitcher Kyle Richards elected to go to second, but threw high and all runners were safe. With one out, T.J. Thomsen bunted, but it went right to Richards, who threw home to force Quilling for the second out.
Pradere hit a slicing ball down the right-field line that landed just fair, clearing the bases with a triple to make it 3-0.
“It felt great (to get a key hit),” Pradere said. “It’s been a frustrating season offensively. Sometimes I don’t get hits, but I never lost confidence in myself. I knew it was fair, and I was thinking triple all the way. The coach was halfway down the line waving somebody home, so I just went for it.”
Carson made it 4-0 in the third when Colby Blueberg reached on an error and then moved to second on a passed ball. With Quilling at the plate, the Damonte catcher threw behind Blueberg, who fell between second and third. The throw was high, enabling Blueberg to reach third. He scored moments later on Quilling’s roller to short.
After Damonte made it 4-2, Carson answered back with two runs of its own without the benefit of a hit. Damonte pitchers walked four batters and hit one, which accounted for the runs.