Senators sweep twinbill from Vikings
BY DARRELL MOODY
Tribune News Service
David Nelsen was tired even before he showed up to Ron McNutt Field for Friday’s Sierra League doubleheader against South Tahoe, and even more so after catching both games.
“I was tired going in,” Nelsen said, packing up his gear. “I’ve been staying up late working on my senior project that I need to finish up to graduate.
“I wish I could be hitting better. I’m getting hits here and there. I was just ready to hit one. All I needed was a fly ball. I just swung hard and it worked out.”
It didn’t stop him from driving in the game-winning run with nobody out in the last of the seventh to give Carson an 8-7 come-from-behind win, and a sweep of the doubleheader.
Carson won the opener 14-4 thanks to Danny Rotter’s stellar relief pitching and a big nine-run fifth inning.
The sweep gives the Senators, 15-4 overall and 5-1 in league play, some much-needed momentum heading into the Toyo National Tournament in Southern California that gets under way today. Carson plays perennial powerhouse Santa Margarita at 1 p.m.
Ron McNutt, Carson head coach, was happy that his team had to battle from behind to win the first game. He also knows that his team will have its hands full this week.
“That game probably helps us more than if we had won 15-0,” McNutt said. “The kids were down, they had to score a couple of runs and be more patient at the plate. Sometimes I’d much rather see a close game than a rout.
“That’s why you go to good tournaments to become a better ballclub. It’s not about wins and losses in a tournament like this.”
Friday’s twinbill was all about winning. The Senators could ill afford a split if they wanted to stay within striking distance of Douglas and Reno, both of whom entered the day unbeaten in league play.
And, the Vikings gave everything Carson could handle in both games, but especially showed some grit in the nightcap when they battled back from a 6-3 deficit to score four unearned runs in the seventh for a 7-6 lead.
Save for the second inning, Jason Alcasas was in command. He was yanked in the seventh after walking two batters. Eric Melendez retired the dangerous Russo on a fly to center. He walked Peter Maes to load the bases. An error by third baseman Mike Handley allowed a run to score, and then Melendez forced in a run with another walk. Bryan Engler put the Vikes ahead with a two-run double to left, Tahoe’s only hit of the inning.
Carson stormed back. After two walks and a passed ball put runners on second and third, Handley’s fly to left was dropped, scoring pinch-runner Royal Good with the tying run. An intentional walk loaded the bases and Nelsen singled through the drawn-in infield to win the game.
Aaron Henry slugged a solo homer on the game’s first pitch and Logan Parsley cracked a double and single. For the Vikings, Engler and Kyle Jones drove home two runs with Russo and Engler leading STHS’s seven hit attack with two hits apiece.
In the opener, Leck’s three-run homer, his second homer in as many games, gave the Senators a 5-0 lead after two innings. Leck also homered in Thursday’s 18-2 romp over South Tahoe.
“I’ve never done that (homers in back-to-back games),” Leck said. “They put it there and I hit it.”
South Tahoe closed to 5-4 in the third on the strength of Russo’s three-run homer off Handley, who struggled in his two-plus inning stint.
Danny Rotter came in after the homer, allowing two hits and no runs over the next three innings.
Rotter’s hard work was rewarded with a win when the Senators scored nine runs on only five hits. South Tahoe pitchers walked five and hit a batter, which helped immensely.
Russo was 2 for 2, including his fifth homer, and knocked in three runs. Craig Spencer also delivered a pair of hits for the Vikings.
STHS slipped to 2-16 overall, including 0-12 in the Sierra Division.
Carson JV sweep Vikings
Nick Smallman had six hits in a doubleheader against South Tahoe’s JV as Carson swept, winning the opener 10-5 and the nightcap 10-2.