Shoddy fielding enables Reno to sweep Carson |

Shoddy fielding enables Reno to sweep Carson

When Carson High baseball coach Cody Farnworth talked about the keys to a successful season, pitching and defense were at the top of the list.

The pitching has been decent, but the fielding has been downright horrible, especially the last two games.

The Senators made six errors leading to six unearned runs in a 9-4 loss to the league-leading Reno Huskies Thursday afternoon at Ron McNutt Field.

Carson, which has made 11 errors in the last two games, fell to 7-5 entering the spring break, while Reno improved to 10-0. It is the first time Carson has been swept this season.

“If that (poor fielding) continues we’re going to have a very tough time,” Farnworth said. “The road only gets tougher from here.

“You give Reno an inch and they will take a mile. They grind you and grind you. They do the right things. Right now we’re not doing the little things, especially on defense. I know we’re not trying to make errors, but we have to get things cleaned up.”

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Gehrig Tucker made three errors at third base, losing pitcher Casey Wolfe had a throwing error, Nick Domitrovich had an error and T.J. Thomsen had an error.

Carson still has Reed, Douglas, Galena and Bishop Manogue left on its schedule. There isn’t an easy one in the bunch. In fact, Bishop Manogue is currently in second place behind Reno.

Farnworth said he might have to consider making a change at third base.

“He (Tucker) is swinging it well,” Farnworth said. “He is working really hard.”

The sad thing is that this was a close game for four innings. Reno scored an unearned run in the third when Wolfe hit two batters and then made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.

Carson scored twice in the bottom of the inning off Vinnie Koci to take its only lead of the game.

Dion Copoulos walked, advanced to third on Tucker’s double. Copoulos scored on a wild pitch and Brock Pradere’s bad-hop infield single scored Tucker with the go-ahead run.

Wolfe worked out of a jam in the fourth, but the roof caved in the next two innings when Reno scored four in each frame to go ahead 9-2.

“Casey threw well early,” Farnworth said. “He was pounding the strike zone with off-speed stuff. With Reno you have to change speeds.”

Zach Paquette singled to start the fourth and scored when Tucker threw Garrett Hampson’s groundball away at first. Tucker shouldn’t have thrown the ball because Hampson was going to be safe regardless. After Tyler McElroy walked, R.J. Bush singled home Hampson to make it 3-2. Grant Kokuk followed with a run-scoring single to make it 4-2, and Jeremy Peterson’s sacrifice fly made it 5-2. Wolfe escaped further damage by retiring the next two hitters.

The Huskies tacked on four unearned runs in the fifth to take a 9-2 lead thanks to four errors. Reno only had two hits in the inning, one each by Kokuk and Graham MacMillan. Tyler Valley relieved Wolfe and got the final six outs, allowing just one hit.

“They’re a good team,” Reno coach Pete Savage said of Carson. “We put down some good bunts and did some good situational hitting.

“Koci pitched great. He pitched well at Spanish Springs on Saturday and came back today and threw well. He pounded the plate and threw both of his pitches for strikes.”

Carson showed some fight in the seventh, scoring two unearned runs.

After one out, Carter Nuckolls reached second on a throwing error by Peterson. Chase Blueberg plated Nuckolls with a double just inside the bag at third. After Copoulos was retired, Thomsen pounded a deep double to center to score Blueberg to make it 9-4.

“We are going to compete to the end, ” Farnworth said.