PREPS: Douglas upsets Carson 8-3
MINDEN – The Douglas baseball team has been looking for clutch hits in close games all season.
Tied 3-3 with Carson High heading into the bottom of the sixth Saturday afternoon, the Tigers got exactly what they were looking for.
Douglas used a five-run sixth to capitalize on a strong performance on the mound from Kameron Van Winkle to take an 8-3 win over the Senators.
“It was your typical Carson-Douglas game,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “Both sides went back and forth all day, Kameron was great on the mound and we finally got those clutch hits to back him up.
“Kam’s ERA has been in the 2’s all year and just haven’t been able to support him. Our guys have been sticking with it all year and battling and hung a crooked number up there when it counted.”
Douglas also got a big day out of senior Scott Rudnick, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs, twice giving the Tigers a lead, including the go-ahead in the sixth.
“Scotty hasn’t been playing a ton, but he’s hung in there and he was big for us today,” Jacobsen said. “He hit a three-run homer and then had the go-ahead single in the sixth. We’re just happy as can be for him.
“It’s a big win for the seniors as a whole. Carson has some great players over there, no doubt, and they are one of the top teams in the league. We needed a win today though, just to keep ourselves in the mix for those 5,6,7 spots in the playoffs.”
Carson took the initial lead in the game with a run in the fourth.
Van Winkle and Carson’s Adam Whitt dueled through three scoreless innings but Chance Quilling laced a lead-off double and came around to score on the follow-up single from Colby Blueberg.
Van Winkle induced a fly ball to center, a ground ball to third and a strikeout to halt the possible big inning for the Senators.
Douglas came right back in the bottom half as senior first baseman Cody Lommori was hit by a pitch. Tanner Egan reached on an error with one out and Rudnick belted the home run to give the Tigers the 3-1 lead.
The see-saw battle continued in the top of the fifth, however, as Carson’s Rory Petersen hit an RBI single and later came around to score on a double from Qulling, tying the game at 3.
After a scoreless fifth, Van Winkle shut down the Senators in the sixth, setting up the decisive bottom half.
Lommori led off with a single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt from Cody Begovich.
A flyball to center gave Douglas two outs with one on, but Rudnick came through with the single to put Douglas up 4-3.
Brett Parks then reached on an error and Shane Fencl doubled to score Rudnick and Parks.
Leo Trebotich was hit by a pitch and Van Winkle walked, setting up a two-run single from Matt Thomas to cap the five-run inning during which every run scored with two outs.
Carson was far from done, though, as Petersen hit a one-out single. He moved to second on a wild pitch, but Van Winkle came up with a strikeout to put the Senators at two outs.
Quilling then singled, moving Petersen to third. Quilling stole second to put runners on second and third with two outs, but Van Winkle shut the door with his sixth strikeout of the day.
Rudnick and Trebotich each went 2-for-3 for the Tigers while Fencl, Thomas, Lommori and Begovich each finished with one hit.
“It was just a great job up and down the lineup,” Jacobsen said. “Each guy had big plays, big moments. They showed up to play. We have some talent and hopefully we are playing our best baseball right now.”
Petersen went 3-for-4 and Quilling went 3-for-3 to lead Carson, Blueberg was 2-for-3 and Pradere was 2-for-2.
Whitt took the loss on the mound, striking out two and walking one while Van Winkle struck out six and walked two to pick up his 20th career win.
That moves him into a tie for second on the school’s all-time list with Shawn Estes.