Tough day for the Senators
Appeal Sports Writer
If the Reno Huskies baseball team appeared at all vulnerable heading into Saturday’s doubleheader with Carson, it emerged from the twin bill looking dominant.
The Huskies exploded for 29 runs and 28 hits over the two games and, combined with Thursday’s 5-4 victory at Reno, ended up sweeping its series with the Senators.
Reno, which defeated Carson 17-8 and then 12-3 in the nightcap at Ron McNutt Field, improved to 5-4 in Sierra League play and 13-6 overall, while Carson fell to 6-3, 14-6.
“We had a real rough day,” said Carson coach Steve Cook. “We just didn’t play well. Reno came to play and put it on us. There’s no other way around it.”
Reno coach Pete Savage, in his 12th season for the Huskies, said his team had it going both offensively and defensively.
“Our hitters swung the bat well all day long,” Savage said. “We had some quality at-bats. (Second-game starter) T.J. (Tom Jameson) had an outstanding performance on the mound. He’s only a sophomore. He showed great competitiveness, fielded well and threw a lot of good pitches.”
Jameson allowed three runs (two earned) and spread out 10 hits in going the distance for Reno in game two. He also struck out one batter.
Reno wasted no time in following up its 17-8 opener, sending 11 batters to the plate in the first inning and going up 7-0.
Carson starter Rob Valerius lasted just 1/3 of an inning, allowing seven runs (six earned) five hits and two walks.
Tyler Smith relieved Valerius and surrendered three runs and two hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Carson’s Brooks Greenlee, making his first two starts of the season (at third base and shortstop, respectively) was a combined 2-for-5 and homered in the bottom of the first inning of the second game.
First baseman Paul Cagle singled in Bryt Lewis to draw Carson to within 7-2 later that inning, but Reno was not to be denied, adding a run in the third, three more in the fourth and one in the seventh.
Cagle, who went 3-for-3, singled in Lewis for the second time, to cut the lead to 8-3 in the third.
Matt Rutledge pitched three innings of relief for Carson, allowing one run and three hits.
“Their pitchers did a good job,” Cook said. “We couldn’t get over the hump the first game. Usually we’re able to stuff it up and go after it in the third game. We did all the things we couldn’t do and hope to be successful and we accomplished that.”
A solo shot by designated hitter Chad Doerr and a three-run shot by first baseman Jon Dankworth put Reno in the driver’s seat – 6-0 – in the third inning of the first game.
After Greenlee and Lewis reached base on a pair of singles in the third, DH Tony Fagan hit a three-run bomb off Reno starter Garrett Luippold to cut the lead in half at 6-3.
The Huskies’ lead swelled to 8-3 in the fourth when Glenn Wallace scored on a wild pitch and Jarrod Volk scored on an error.
Carson starter Nick Smallman lasted 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned), four hits, two walks and hit two batters (Carson’s four pitchers would hit six Reno batters in the game).
Cagle pitched three innings, allowing six runs (five earned) and five hits, and Stephen Sawyers lasted 1/3 of an inning, surrendering two runs and two hits. David Eller went the rest of the way, allowing three runs and four hits.
The Senators did not roll over, however, sending 10 batters to the plate in the fifth to tie the game at 8.
Luippold walked Greenlee, gave up a bunt-single to Lewis and walked Fagan to load the bases with no outs. Luippold walked David Leid and two batters later, Valerius hit a two-run double to center to make it 8-6.
Keegan Peterson relieved Luippold and walked Rutledge to load the bases. A Kyle Stone sacrifice fly and a Markus Adams single evened the score, but Doerr came on in relief of Peterson (who lasted 1/3 of an inning) and shut down Carson the rest of the way to earn the win.
Reno ended any hopes of a Carson rally with an eight-run sixth inning and another run in the seventh.
“In the first game we got it all the way back, but even though Reno came into the series 2-4 in the Sierra League, don’t believe the hype,” Cook said. “Reno’s a good squad. Coach Savage does a good job to get them going. Tradition counts for something. Reno is traditionally good.”
Savage dismissed his team’s 2-4 start in league play.
“Our league is very competitive,” Savage said. “Every team is capable of beating anybody. Carson has a good baseball club. We just played better this weekend.”
Cook said the Senators need to get back in sync in a hurry.
“Thursday we played our butts off – it was close. We had a rough weekend. Manogue is coming in and they’re not going to feel sorry for us. We have to get back to work.”
Carson will attempt to get back on track Tuesday, when it hosts the Miners (who beat the Senators, 7-1, earlier this season) on Ken Rupert Night. All of the proceeds from the gate, concessions and T-shirt sales will go to providing a college scholarship for a Carson baseball player.
The game begins at 7 p.m.