Carson baseball rolls past North Valleys
Carson High came out swinging in the first inning, and the Senators didn’t stop until they had seven big runs on the scoreboard.
Kyle Krebs and Connor Pradere drove in two runs apiece to highlight the first inning which carried the Senators to an 11-4 win over North Valleys Tuesday night at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson improved to 9-4 in league and will go for the series sweep Thursday at 3:45 at North Valleys. Trevor Edis is scheduled to start for CHS.
The game also marked the debut of senior Joe Nelson, who tore his ACL during football and had surgery in December.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had an inning like that,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “I think after the first inning we still had good at-bats. We had some hard groundball outs. We didn’t have any easy (out) at-bats. We had good approaches at the plate.”
Pradere led off the first with a bunt single and advanced to second on a single by Cody Azevedo. After a double steal, Krebs lined a single to right-centerfield to score both runners. He was replaced on the basepaths by Kyle Gagnon. Terek Been singled, advancing Gagnon to second. Jace Keema and Abel Carter followed with run-scoring singles to make it 4-0. Bryce Moyle made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly, and after No. 9 hitter Jesse Lopez hit into a fielder’s choice, Pradere, batting for the second time in the inning, singled in two runs to make it 7-0.
Starter John Holton, who missed his last start and his bullpen session because of illness, worked three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fourth.
Jared Short broke up the no-hitter with a single to center, and Zach Martin followed with a bunt single, A wild pitch moved up both runners, and A.J. Dennis followed with a two-run single to make it 7-2.
Carson got those runs back in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Lopez, a walk to Pradere, a wild pitch and Azevedo’s infield out.
Holton departed after a scoreless fifth.
“We had John on a pitch count,” Manoukian said. “He’d missed his last start and a bullpen session. We probably could have extended him, but I thought it was a good opportunity to give Joe some work.”
“I thought my location was fine today,” Holton said. “I missed the last start, so today was about getting dialed back in. I got tired a little bit toward the end.”
Nelson showed the rust that comes with not throwing for a long period of time. He allowed two hits, two walks and two runs, enabling the Panthers to make it 9-4 in the sixth. What was strange is Nelson had more success with his breaking ball than his fastball.
“He was rusty,” Manoukian said. “It’s one thing to stand on a flat surface and throw. It’s another to go on the mound and throw to a hitter. He’s been working really hard on his curveball. He had a lot of late break on his curveball. I thought he did well for the first time out.”
“My knee hurt when I stopped moving around,” Nelson said. “I don’t think I trust it all the way yet.”
Carson did show its resilience in the sixth, again matching North Vallleys’ two-run outburst with two of its own.
Azevedo was plunked with a pitch and Krebs walked. Keema doubled home a run, and the final run scored on Carter’s infield out.
Derek Schafer worked a scoreless seventh, though the Panthers helped CHS by making a mistake on the basepaths, accounting for the game’s final out.