Blue Jays drop two in Reno tourney
RENO — One game the Carson Blue Jays never had a chance to win. In the other they blew a 5-0 lead. All in all, not the best day at the ballpark.
Carson opened the day with a 15-0 loss to the Greater Nevada Badgers, and then dropped a 6-5 decision to the IBAC Thunder at the Reno A’s tournament at Bishop Manogue High School.
Carson returns to action today at 11:30 a.m. against a team from Oregon.
The second loss was probably a little tougher to take because it was a game that the Blue Jays dominated for the first four innings thanks to a four-run second inning and a nice pitching effort by Jace Zampirro. Zampirro pitched 5-plus innings, allowing just two earned runs.
IBAC scored all six of its runs in its final three at-bats, including the walk-off single by Joe Raymond, who went 4-for-4 and reached base five times.
“I thought Jace threw fantastic,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “For whatever reason we don’t seem to play well behind him.
“We made a couple of errors in the infield and gave them the momentum, and we stopped having good approaches at the plate in the middle of innings.”
Carson’s troubles started in the bottom of the fifth.
Raymond doubled and moved to third on an infield roller. Matt Cantelme followed with a groundball to the right of second base. Dom Norton, instead of taking an out and letting the run score with a 5-0 lead, failed to throw Raymond out at home.
“I don’t think Dom made the right decision,” Manoukian said. “You want to take the out in the situation. That’s why we come out here to learn.”
Bryce Beauchamp followed with a single, advancing Cantelme to second. Mike McMahon followed with a groundball to Gehrig Tucker at short. Tucker flipped to Norton at second. Norton, however, threw wildly to first which allowed Cantelme to score to make it 5-2.
The IBAC squad ties the game with three in the bottom of the sixth.
Valentine Vincent homered to lead off the inning, and Mike Majeski followed with a single. Exit Zampirro and enter Norton, who induced Trevor Muzzi to ground into a double play. However, four straight hits followed which enabled the Sacramento squad to tie the game at 5.
Carson had an opportunity to go ahead in the seventh, but an aggressive move on the bases was costly.
Zampirro led off with a double, but was thrown out trying to advance to third on Blueberg’s groundball to short. Nystrom and Dutcher were retired to end the inning.
“I told Jace to come (to third),” Manoukian said. “You can put that one on me.”
Reliever Dustin Dutcher walked McMahon to start the seventh, and then threw wild on a pickoff attempt to send McMahon to second. Dutcher retired the next hitter, and then Vincent was walked intentionally. Majeski followed with a single to deep left. McMahon wasn’t sure if Chase Blueberg was going to catch the ball, and only reached third which loaded the bases. After Muzzi popped out, Raymond singled to end the game.
It wasted a tremendous start by the Blue Jays.
Carson took a 4-0 lead when Blueberg doubled off the fence and moved to third on an infield single by Chazz Nystrom. Dutcher walked to load the bases, and Kyle Krebs followed with a sacrifice fly to center. Connor Leahy walked and then T.J. Thomsen was safe on an error which allowed two more runs to score. Tucker capped the inning with a run-scoring single.
Leahy walked to open the fourth and came around to score on a throwing error to make it 5-0.
Nystrom led Carson with two outs.
Badgers 15, Blue Jays 0
The Badgers scored in all four of their at-bats en route to an easy win in Friday’s opening game which was shortened because of the mercy rule.
It was by far Carson’s worst game of the year from a pitching standpoint.
Starter John Holton and relievers Danny Guthrie and Nystrom were all ineffective. The trio combined to give up 16 hits in the 4 1/2-inning contest.
Holton went 1-plus, giving up seven runs and nine hits. Guthrie yielded three runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings, and Nystrom surrendered four runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings.
“As far as a combined effort goes, this was the least competitive that we’ve been on the mound,” Manoukian said. “That’s really frustrating.
“I don’t know if John’s arm was tired or what. The fastball was the only pitch he could throw for a strike, and if you are throwing it right down the middle anybody can hit that.”
Carson’s offense had a sub-par day, managing just five hits. Zampirro led the way with a double and single, and Blueberg, Krebs and Thomsen added a hit each.
Carson had two good scoring chances, and wasted both.
In the first after a two-out Blueberg single and Zampirro double, Nystrom grounded out to third.
In the fourth, Dutcher reached first on a two-out error. After Connor Leahy walked, Krebs singled to load the bases. Thomsen followed with a shot that hit the runner going from first to second to end the inning.