Carson garners split at Reno tourney
RENO — Carson High registered a split in second day play at the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament.
Carson opened the day with a sloppy 8-7 win over South Tahoe, as Chase Blueberg drove in three runs in his last two at-bats, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh with one out.
In the second game, Carson was no match for perennial powerhouse Reno, losing 12-2 in five innings.
Carson plays Lowry at 11:30 a.m. today at Wooster, and then travels over to Damonte Ranch to meet the Mustangs at 3 p.m.
“We need to start paying attention to details,” CHS coach Bryan Manoukian said. “Stuff like hitting the cut-off man, communicating on bunt defense and first-and-third situations.
“Against Reno, I don’t think we played particularly bad, but the score doesn’t reflect that. We got in a hole early. We pitched from behind all day, and this is what happens when you do that.”
In the morning game, Carson fought back from deficits of 2-0 and 6-3 against a scrappy South Tahoe squad.
“It was a mixed bag,” Manoukian said of the South Tahoe game. “I can’t say I’m excited about us making eight errors even though the official scorer only gave us six. We need to clean up our defense before league starts (next week). “I’m happy with the way we battled back. We showed resiliency. Teams in past years would not have done that. Give credit to South Tahoe, they swung the bats well.”
South Tahoe’s Kolby Eymann threw hitless ball for three innings, and his teammates staked him to an early 2-0 lead through three.
Eymann’s command went south in the bottom of the fourth, and Carson scored three runs for a 3-2 lead. Ryan Pope had a run-scoring single, TJ Thomsen was hit with the bases loaded and Blueberg walked with the bases loaded.
The Vikings took a 6-3 lead, scoring four runs on five hits (two Carson errors) and they knocked starter John Holton from the mound. Dominic Diana, Sergio Bergueno and Garrett Harley had key hits. The fourth run scored on an error.
The Senators stormed back with one in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 7-6 lead.
Dom Norton’s sacrifice fly scored the run in the fifth, while Blueberg doubled home two runs in the sixth and Brandon Allen singled in the go-ahead run later in the inning.
Reliever Chazz Nystrom yielded an unearned run in the sixth, but Carson made him a winner in the last of the seventh.
With one out, Josiah Pongasi and Thomsen were plunked by reliever Liam Loftis. Both runners moved up on a stolen base, and with the infield and outfield playing up, Blueberg pounded one over the left fielder’s head to score Pongasi.
“I focused on not focusing,” said Blueberg, who struck out twice in his first two at-bats. “I wasn’t trying to hit a homer. I was just going to take what they gave me. On my last two at-bats, they gave me an inside pitch, and I turned on them.”
It was indeed redemption for leaving the bases full in the second and not playing a ball correctly in left field in South Tahoe’s four-run fifth inning.
Dustin Dutcher had control problems from the outset, walking four in the first two innings. Reno took advantage of his lack of command to score once in the first and three in the second for a quick 4-0 lead.
In the first, Brock Tsukamoto walked, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Sullivan Cauley. In the second, Cooper Krug singled, Joey Clark walked and pitcher Matt Young reached on a bunt single to load the base. Tsukamoto followed with a groundball up the middle which scored Krug. Joe Bath walked to load the bases. An error and sacrifice fly by Jeremy Peterson made it 4-0.
The Huskies made it 6-0 in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Jake Clark and Peterson, the latter off reliever Danny Guthrie.
Carson finally got on the board against Young in the top of the fifth when Allen reached on an error, moved to second on a single by Norton and scored on a single by Gehrig Tucker. An error on Josiah Pongasi’s groundball scored Norton to make it 6-2.
Reno ended the game prematurely with six runs in the fifth.
“I thought he (Dutcher) threw well,” Manoukian said. “He’s got to get ahead in the count and pound the strike zone.”