Red-hot Carson set for playoffs
Carson High’s baseball team enters the Division I playoffs today (4 p.m.) at Galena with a full head of steam.
The Senators, who compiled a 14-8 record in the regular season, won seven of their last eight to conclude the regular season, including sweeps of Galena, Douglas and Wooster.
It was a far cry from two years ago when Carson lost its last 10 games to end the regular season in Bryan Manoukian’s first year at the helm.
“It feels better than before,” said Manoukian, who is looking for his first playoff win as a head coach at Carson. “I think our confidence is better. We’re feeling much better about ourselves as a team.
“Historically we’ve been competitive in postseason, we just haven’t gotten over the hump and won a game. We’ve had success against the really good teams this year, and hopefully we can win a game or two.”
In 2013, Manogue edged Carson, 3-2, despite a great pitching effort by Chase Blueberg. Galena knocked off Carson, 6-2, in an elimination game. In 2014, Carson lost 7-3 to Reno and then 14-13 against Damonte Ranch.
Carson split with Damonte and Manogue, was swept by Reno and swept Galena. A .500 record (4-4) isn’t bad against that group. Those outcomes alone makes Carson a dangerous entity entering the postseason.
Despite sweeping Galena, Manoukian knows that the Grizzlies are a formidable opponent. The Grizzlies boast lefty Nate Barry and right-handers Wyatt Nebe and Dawson Campos.
Barry started in the first game of the doubleheader recently and was roughed up by the Senators. Nebe and Campos also saw action, and the Senators had their best offensive effort of the season with 17 hits against the trio. Manoukian expects to see Barry on the hill today.
“Barry has been their No. 1 the last couple of years,” Manoukian said. “I’m not sure what they’re going to do, though.”
Manoukian said he was unsure of who would start today’s game against the Grizzlies. Ace Bryce Moyle has had four days rest since defeating Douglas in the season finale. The ball could go to righty Kyle Krebs, Brandon Allen or even John Holton, however.
“Bryce threw 104 pitches against Douglas,” Manoukian said. “The last three starts he’s gone over 100 pitches. Brandon didn’t have good stuff when he faced Galena. Kyle has caught a lot of games, and I know he’s tired.”
Who Manoukian starts on the hill will depend who plays everywhere else and who serves as designated hitter. Another question mark is the status of Joe Nelson, who delivered a big pinch-hit recently. He has battled elbow problems which seem to be getting better. Whether it’s good enough to play the outfield is another story.
Carson brings a hot offense into the playoffs.
The team hit .302 with 10 players at .275 or better. Krebs leads the group at .400 with 19 RBI followed by Holton and Pongasi, each at .353. Holton was second in RBI with 20, while Pongasi and Conner Pradere tied for the team lead in RBI with 23. Allen finished the regular season at .325 with a team-leading 23 RBI. Pradere finished the regular season at .304. Seamus Burns (.279), Terek Been (.278), Nelson (.279) and Jace Keema (.276) all have come up with key hits at various times down the stretch.
HIGH SCHOOL GOLF
Carson golfers 7th in first round
DAYTON — Carson High sits in seventh place after the first day of the NIAA Division I regional golf tournament at Dayton Valley Golf Club.
Bishop Manogue leads the way with a 392 followed by Galena (408), Reno (409), Spanish Springs (435), McQueen and Reed (441), Carson (453) and Douglas (511). The top two teams and top five individuals from nonqualifying teams qualify for next week’s state tournament at Montreux Golf & Country Club.
Dalton Butler led Carson with a 79 followed by Matt McCarthy 89, Bebop Martinez 90, Lakoda Smokey 95, Jake Jones 100 and Taylor Saarem 111. Butler is currently tied for eighth overall.
“We didn’t play particularly well,” CHS coach Rod Butler said. “Dalton had five bad holes in the middle of the round. He played Nos. 7 through 11 9-over-par. He was playing well to that point. He played the last seven holes 2-under. When I last talked to Bebop on the course, he thought he would come in with an 81 or 82, but he took doubles and triples coming in.
“If Dalton gets it going like I know he can, he should get to state.”
Action gets under way today at 12:30 p.m.