Senators smother Vikings
In a season filled with losses, Thursday’s 18-2 setback against Carson High may have been the low point for the South Tahoe High Vikings.
The Vikings trailed 17-0 before their first hit, a bad-hop grounder by A.J. Russo to lead off the fourth inning. South Tahoe (2-14 overall, 0-10 Sierra) managed only three hits against Carson senior Scott DeFriez while surrendering 19 to the Senators. That number could have been a bit lower, but the Vikings made several fielding gaffes that went down as hits in addition to making three errors.
“Every fricking day, you think nothing else can go wrong,” Russo said. “Then we go out there and screw up on something new.”
Carson scratched across a run in the fifth and final inning despite removing three starters. The Vikings haven’t held an opponent scoreless in 13 innings, the last coming in Saturday’s second game against Douglas High.
“The last few games I thought our fielding contributed as much to the other team’s offense as their hitting,” South Tahoe head coach Doug Russell said. “But today (Carson) really swung the bats well.”
The Senators (13-3, 3-1) scored four runs in each of the first two innings and five in the third, knocking South Tahoe starter Dan Tinlin out of the box in the process. Shawn McLaughlin came on in relief but was roughed up for five runs himself.
“We were very aggressive at the plate early on and that really set the tempo,” Carson head coach Ron McNutt said. “We knew South Tahoe was struggling, so we wanted to jump right on them.”
Willie Bowman and Cameron Leck led Carson with four RBIs each as the visitors pounded out eight extra-base hits, one a home run by Leck in the second inning. Danny Rotter had two RBI singles despite entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning.
South Tahoe scored both of its runs in the fourth inning on a ground ball by Bryan Engler. Russo scored from third base and Craig Spencer came all the way around from second when a throw got away from Carson first baseman Leck.
The teams meet again on Friday for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m., leaving the Vikings only 17 hours to recover from Thursday’s beating.
“It’s going to be really tough on us mentally,” Russo said. “Everyone’s thinking about spring break right now. I think we need the vacation.”
The South Tahoe junior varsity team fell in a much closer contest, 4-3 to Carson. Garrett Datrio hit a home run in the seventh inning to pull the Vikings within one run, but they couldn’t score again.