PREPS: Senators steal win from North Valleys
Carson High literally stole a win from North Valleys Tuesday afternoon.
Carson scored two third-inning runs on steals of home, one on a straight double steal and the other on the cutthroat play, en route to a 3-2 victory in a Northern 4A baseball game at Ron McNutt Field.
The Senators improved to 8-3 overall and stretched their win streak to two entering today’s league game at McQueen.
Carson coach Cody Farnworth was happy to get the win, but he’s concerned about his team’s lack of offense, and with good reason.
In the last two games, Carson has struck out 18 times, which is an unacceptable number. In the last two games, Carson has faced a left-handed pitcher. McQueen’s Christian Stolo and North Valleys’ P.J. Vannemnerik.
“I don’t know if it’s that we don’t see left-handers that well,” Farnworth said. “Eighteen strikeouts in two days. We have to figure something out pretty fast. We have to figure it out. We weren’t ready to play.”
Chance Quilling, who hit two balls hard and had one hit, admitted that the Senators weren’t performing up to their capabilities offensively.
“Since the (long) layoff, we haven’t been swinging the bats as well,” Quilling said. “We need to do some extra work in the cage and step it up. We have to put the ball in play, and if there are runners on the bases, we can’t leave them there.”
After stranding a runner at third with one out in the first, Carson got on the board in the second when Austin Pacheco singled and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt by winning pitcher Adam Whitt and a single by Casey Wolfe.
Carson stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third thanks to some nice baserunning by Nick Domitrovich and Brock Pradere.
Domitrovich singled and moved around to third on a wild pick-off throw by Vannemnerik. Pradere walked, and then he and Domitrovich pulled off the double steal. North Valleys catcher Gage Clark threw the ball through to second and Domitrovich stormed home. After a strikeout, Quilling reached on an error and Pradere moved to third. Quilling got himself trapped between first and second, and Pradere beat the throw home. Quilling got around to third, but was stranded when Pacheco struck out and Whitt grounded out.
Whitt, who retired the first seven batters he faced, had to work out of a small jam in the third. He gave up four straight hits to start the fourth as North Valleys scored both of its runs. A double play helped Whitt get out of an even bigger hole.
After an easy fifth inning, Whitt left the game with a one-run lead. He fanned four and walked three while allowing five hits.
“I started off good the first two innings,” Whitt said. “I was doing what I wanted to do. The third inning I got into my own head.
“They (the coaches) want to use me in another game on Saturday or next Tuesday. They wanted to keep my pitch count down. The last time I started I threw 100 pitches.”
Wolfe came on in the sixth and allowed a one-out single, but the Senators turned a nice double play to end the inning.
North Valleys put runners on second and third after an error by Drew Moreland and a balk on Wolfe when he dropped the ball on the mound. Wolfe ended the game by striking out leadoff hitter Mason Blake and retiring Tim Herman on a fly ball.
“I thought Whitt threw well,” Farnworth said. “Wolfe came in and threw strikes and got himself out of a jam.”