Carson bullpen struggles in loss
The Carson Blue Jays got another quality start from Jared Barnard, but the bullpen struggled over the last four innings, and the Sierra Sun Devils took advantage.
Four Carson relievers walked nine and hit a batter, and six of those base runners scored in the Sun Devils’ 12-8 win Friday night at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson dropped to 8-5. The locals return to action Sunday morning at 10 against the visiting Reno Knights.
“It was a good game for seven innings,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We came back and battled. They made some errors and we had too many walks. When you walk 11 (11 plus a hit batter) you’re going to be in trouble.
“Jared pitched well. He was on a pitch count, and it was the second and third time around the order, and they were starting to time him. He needs to develop a third pitch. He threw fantastic.”
The Sun Devils are made up of primarily high school grads and some junior college players. Recent CHS grads Jace Zampirro, Brandon Allen and Josiah Pongasi are members of the team.
Barnard worked the first five, allowing two runs and four hits. He threw four scoreless innings before being nicked for two runs on run-scoring hits by Chris Watts and Web Charles which wiped out a 1-0 Carson lead.
John Holton took over in the sixth, and struggled to hit his spots. He walked three and gave up two hits as the Sun Devils increased their lead to 4-1. The big blow was a two-run single by Kevin Kozuth.
Carson got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Joe Nelson singled with one out and eventually scored on Abel Carter’s single off starter/winner Chase Hauder, who departed after the hit. Reliever Lucas Howard struck out Bryce Moyle and Holton to end the inning.
Kyle Krebs came on in the seventh and gave up two unearned runs to make it 6-2. He walked one, but that didn’t enter into the scoring. Wyatt Nebe’s single and a wild pitch accounted for the runs.
The Blue Jays scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-4. An error on Cody Azevedo’s ground ball and a single by Jace Keema accounted for the scores.
The eighth was an ugly inning, as relievers Terek Been and Jordan Anderson combined to walk five and hit a batter which led to six runs and a 12-4 deficit.
“With the all-star games coming up today (at Peccole Park), I needed to get some guys some work,” Manoukian said. “Kyle hadn’t pitched in two weeks because of a wrist injury, and John jammed his thumb earlier this week. Jordan threw well the second inning. I kind of expected the guys to struggle (because of inactivity).”
The Blue Jays rallied for four runs off reliever Noah Parks in the ninth. Keema, Carter and Nelson had RBIs, and another run scored on a throwing error.
Barnard had two hits as did Keema, Nelson and Carter.