Senator pitchers struggle in slugfest
When you get 20 hits in any baseball game, you would expect to get a “W”.
The Carson High Senators, who are hitting over .370 as a team in their first eight games, collected a season high in total hits, but it wasn’t near enough as Wooster walked away with a 17-13 win Tuesday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.
The loss dropped Carson to 3-1 in league and 6-3 overall heading into a two-game series at Damonte Ranch.
“Offense isn’t our problem,” CHS coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We’re definitely scoring enough runs to win games. I was proud of the way the guys battled back to get back into the game. We got too far behind early.
“We have to make better pitches with two strikes and keep the ball out of the upper half of the zone. I thought we’d compete better as a pitching staff.”
So did a lot of people.
Entering Tuesday’s game, Carson’s pitching staff had allowed 79 hits and 32 walks in just 49 innings en route to a 5.429 ERA. Throw in five walks and 19 more hits in Tuesday’s game, and those pitching numbers will be even worse. Chase Blueberg has three wins and a 1.50 ERA, but everybody else with significant innings is over 4. The one thing to remember is that Jace Zampirro has yet to take the mound, and he and Blueberg were expected to give Carson a nice 1-2 punch.
Carson starter Brandon Allen struggled with command early, allowing 10 runs and 10 hits in 3.2 innings. Danny Guthrie was solid in his 1 1/3 innings of work, but Chazz Nystrom and Joe Nelson struggled during their outings.
Wooster scored three runs in the first and second. Austin Chipman had a wind-blown 3-run homer to right and a sacrifice fly to account for four of the first six runs.
The Senators scored one in the second and two in the third to chop the lead in half.
Allen helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly in the second to score Blueberg, and then Gehrig Tucker had a run-scoring single and T.J. Thomsen a solo homer to right. Thomsen has been on a tear, hitting in six straight games.
“Coach has been having us do a lot of angle hitting,” Thomsen said. “It helps me see the ball better, He threw a fastball in, and I turned on it and drove it. He made a mistake (in location).”
Wooster exploded for five unearned runs to make it 11-3, as Dom Norton and Josiah Pongasi made errors. Hunter Powers, who led the Colts with five hits, doubled home a run. Allen was relieved by Guthrie with two outs in the fourth, and Guthrie allowed a run-scoring double before retiring the side.
Many teams might have packed it in, but Carson didn’t. The Senators scored two in the fourth and five in the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-10.
A run-scoring triple by Pongasi, who stretched his hitting streak to five with a 3-for-3 effort, and a double by Norton accounted for the fourth-inning runs. Pongasi is hitting .785 in that span, and he’s reached base 21 times in his last 25 plate appearances. He is the engine that is making Carson go thus far.
In the fifth, Thomsen tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Zampirro to make it 11-6. Blueberg doubled and then scored on a single. Nelson, Pongasi, Norton and Tucker hit safely before Powers could come on in relief and retire the side.
The momentum that Carson built vanished, as Nystrom gave up four runs and four hits before being pulled after getting two outs in the sixth. Pongasi threw a run-scoring wild pitch on his first delivery to Chipman. The Wooster slugger singled up the middle, but Thomsen threw him out trying to stretch the hit into a double. Thomsen had two outfield assists on the day.
In the seventh, Nelson allowed two unearned runs. His location was spotty. Powers had a run-scoring double for the Colts.
Carson pushed across three in the seventh, and the ugly game ended when the Senators were called out for batting out of order.