Blue Jay offense pounds out 15 hits in 14-7 victory
What a difference a day makes.
The Carson Blue Jays’ offense got untracked to the tune of 15 hits and scored in seven of their eight at-bats en route to an easy 14-7 nine-inning win over McQueen Saturday night at Ron McNutt Field.
The 15 hits was seven more than Carson managed the previous game, a 14-4 loss to Spanish Springs. Carson did make four errors, which was one less than against the Sparks school.
“We came out with a lot more fire and we executed better offensively,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “The errors that we made weren’t bad errors. Summer baseball we don’t practice hardly at all.
“We left a lot of guys on, but we had 15 hits so we’re going to have runners all the time. I’d worry more if we had left 14 or 15 on and only scored four or five runs then it would have been an issue.”
McQueen led just once, and that was in the top of the first when CHS sophomore-to-be Jared Barnard was touched for two runs and three hits. Both runs came when Joel Seth’s flare to short right got past a lunging Bryce Moyle and scored Dylan Thomas and Brendan Yaun, who had singled and doubled, respectively.
Barnard settled down nicely after that, throwing four straight shutout innings before turning the ball over to Joe Nelson and then Cole McDonald. Barnard yielded six hits, struck out four and walked three.
By the time Barnard left the hill, his teammates scored seven unanswered runs for a 7-2 lead after five.
“He settled down after the first inning,” Manoukian said. “He made some adjustments which I liked. He’s definitely somebody who is making a name for himself this summer. I see him competing for a starting spot in the rotation next spring.
“He is further along pitching-wise than the other younger kids. Overall, I think Abel (Carter) is further along.”
Carson took the lead for good with three in the first when Connor Pradere sliced a triple to right and scored on a double to center by Cody Azevedo. Nelson drove in Azevedo with another two-bagger, tying the game at 2. Nelson moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on John Holton’s infield out.
In the second, Nico Salm singled, moved to third on Barnard’s double and scored on Azevedo’s single to center to make it 4-2. In the third, Jace Keema tripled to right-center and scored when Carter’s ground ball was misplayed.
A one-out error (McQueen made seven) opened the door for two more runs in the fourth. Azevedo reached second on the error, moved to third on Nelson’s single and scored on Holton’s run-scoring hit. After Keema was hit by a pitch, Bryce Moyle hit a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 7-2.
Nelson, who hadn’t pitched in approximately seven weeks, took the mound in the sixth and threw pain free though he was touched for a run on a single by Seth, who scored on Barnard’s throwing error to make it 7-3.
The Blue Jays added two runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 9-3 on a hit by Pradere, a walk, wild pitch and a double steal.
Young Cole McDonald was touched for two runs in the top of the seventh to make it 9-5, but Carson answered back with two in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring hit by Pradere and a bases-loaded walk to McDonald.
Pradere and Azevedo each went 3-for-5, while Nelson and Barnard added two hits apiece.
NOTES: Carson plays at Douglas on June 2 at 5 p.m. and then hosts Fernley at 7 p.m. June 3. … Azevedo made a sensational catch to rob Nelson Padilla of at least a double to start the fourth inning. … Kyle Krebs is still likely to miss at least one more game with his wrist injury.