Carson falls versus Reed
After feasting on Hug High pitching the last two games, Carson High hitters took a step backwards on Saturday.
The Senators managed just six hits and stranded nine runners in an 8-3 Northern Division I loss to Reed at Ron McNutt Field.
The loss dropped Carson to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. The teams wrap up their two-game series on Tuesday in Sparks with Kyle Krebs getting the start on the mound for CHS.
“Top to bottom we’re not executing offensively,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “The middle of our lineup had a tough day. We need to do a better job of putting the ball in play.
“Reed is a very good offensive team. They have and will always hit the ball well. They have some big, strong kids and they don’t get cheated at the plate. Reed is good from top to bottom. You have to tip your hat to them.”
Reed’s pitchers contained Joe Nelson and Brandon Allen, the Senators’ Nos. 3 and 4 hitters. The duo went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. That’s critical, because those are two guys who are needed to make consistent contact.
Both teams manufactured a run in the second.
Reed’s Louis Henry was plunked by Nelson, who worked the first 4 1/2 innings. He moved around to third on two wild pitches and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lincoln Turner. Carson evened the score against Austin Beard when John Holton was safe on a one-out error and scored when Cody Azevedo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Carson lost a chance to break the tie when hot-hitting Jesse Lopez popped up with the bases juiced.
Carson pushed across another unearned run in the third to take a 2-1 lead.
Josiah Pongasi singled, moved to second on a wild pick-off throw by Beard and scored on Holton’s two-out double.
Nelson was unable to protect the lead, however, as Reed scored two in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Beard helped his own cause with a single leading off the fourth. Henry followed with a shot off the chest of third baseman Jace Keema for an infield single. Keema compounded the issue by throwing wildly to first, putting runners on second and third. Dakota Tompkins followed with a two-run single to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead. Nelson got the next two hitters to end the uprising.
In the fifth, Brandon Kozuth doubled to drive in Leighton, spelling the end of Nelson’s day on the hill. Terek Been came on and surrendered run-scoring doubles to Beard and Henry, and Tompkins added another run-scoring hit to make it 7-2.
“I thought Joe threw better than he did the last time out (against Douglas),” Manoukian said. “He hung a change-up to Kozuth in the fifth.
He had Beard 0-2 in the fourth and Beard singled. That’s not what you want to do. We also had a lot of balls fall between our infielders and outfielders.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Carson put runners at first and third thanks to a single by Bryce Moyle, a wild pitch and a walk to Conner Pradere. Azevedo grounded to second to end the threat.
Carson made some noise in the seventh against reliever Tyler Collins, the third Reed pitcher of the day.
Seamus Burns walked and reached third on Pongasi’s double, Nelson was re-inserted to hit for Been, and he walked to load the bases.
Krebs, hitting for Allen, hit a grondball to Alec Leighton at short. Leighton flipped to Vincent Fillipone for the first out. However, the base umpire ruled an illegal slide on Nelson, and Krebs was called out, too. The runners were forced to stay at second and third. Holton singled to deep third, driving in Burns to make it 8-3.
Keema popped to short to end the game.