North Valleys tops Carson
Six times Carson High had runners in scoring position, and only once did the Senators come through with a key hit.
Sean Flanary pitched a 6-hitter at the Senators, who dropped back to .500 after a 4-1 loss Thursday night at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson is 7-7 heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m. doubleheader against winless Wooster. Carson started the day in seventh place, and the Senators need to chalk up a few more wins to solidify that playoff spot.
The Senators left runners on third twice and on second twice. That is especially big in a close game. North Valleys was even worse, stranding 10 runners.
“We’ve been leaving a lot of runners on base the last few games,” CHS coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We’re unable to make adjustments.”
It started in the first when Connor Pradere singled, stole second and went to third on Josiah Pongasi’s hit-and-run groundball to short.
Kyle Krebs struck out and Brandon Allen grounded to short.
Seamus Burns hit a one-out double to right-centerfield in the second inning, but John Holton was called out on strikes and Cody Azevedo grounded out.
North Valleys, which left the bases jammed in the first, scored twice in the third off starter/loser Bryce Moyle, who worked the first five innings.
Moyle plunked Cody Duke and then walked Robert Cranston. After James Wheatley struck out, Eddie Vokes hit a line drive to center. Azevedo went for the shoestring catch, and the ball got by him, allowing both runners to score for a 2-0 lead.
Carson’s Jesse Lopez reached second on an error to start the third. He stole third and scored on Pradere’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. Krebs hit a two-out single and reached second when Allen walked. Terek Been grounded into a force out.
The Senators’ Holton hit a one-out double to right-centerfield and moved to third on Azevedo’s infield out. Lopez rolled out to end the fourth inning.
The game remained 2-1 until the sixth when Been took over for Moyle, who fanned seven, hit two and walked two.
“Bryce didn’t have his best stuff, but he only gave up a couple of runs,” Manoukian said. “It should have been enough to keep us in the game. Our offense didn’t back him up at all.”
North Valleys nicked Been for a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Burkey, and it was a big run.
Been hit a one-out single in the sixth and wet to second on a wild pitch.
He reached third on Burns’ bloop single to right. Been probably should have scored, but didn’t read the ball well and only reached third. Moments later he was picked off third by NV catcher Vokes. Two big mistakes.
“Terek didn’t know where their outfielders were,” Manoukian said. “He took too big of a lead in that situation. You can’t get picked off.”
An error by Jace Keema enabled North Valleys to put another insurance run on the board. Vokes delivered a sacrifice fly.
Burns was a bright spot for Carson with two hits and two nice catches in right field.
“Seamus has been our best outfielder and our most consistent hitter,” Manoukian said. “I may have to move him up in the order to get him up with runners in scoring position.”
“I’d like to have a chance to get RBIs and get my name in the paper,” Burns said. “I know I can hit, I’ve just been waiting for my chance.”