Carson struggled against Cougar pitcher Nikk Audenried all day. Audenried scattered four hits over six innings of work. He walked four and struck out four to get the win on the mound. Troy Weller pitched a scoreless seventh for the save.
“Nikk Audenried stepped up big time on the mound for us,” SSHS assistant baseball coach Brian Thompson said. “He’s a horse that wanted to go out there for the seventh inning, but he was at a number where we needed to take him out. He’s a real competitive kid.”
The Senators did get on the scoreboard first. Brock Pradere drew a one-out walk in the top of the first.
A Rory Petersen double down the left-field line put runners on second and third. Clean-up hitter Luke Maher ripped a shot off Audenried, allowing Pradere to scamper home. But that was all the offense Carson could muster off Audenried.
The Senators’ lead was short-lived. A walk by Shane Lawson and single by Chase Kittilsen left runners on first and second for the Cougars in the bottom of the first frame.
With the runners on the move, Vinnie Agliolo singled through the right side of the infield, driving in Lawson and putting runners on the corners.
Spanish Springs grab a 2-1 edge when Anthony Tiscareno popped out to the second baseman. But because the pop up took the Carson infielder into foul territory, Kittilsen was able to sprint home and slide under a late tag for the go-ahead run.
The Senators gave the Cougs a run in the fourth. Chadd Little opened the inning with a single. Kenny Semenko was hit by a pitch and Shannon Kelly dropped down a bunt single to load the bases. A second hit batsman in the inning forced in a run for a 3-1 advantage.
Spanish Springs tallied its final run in the fifth thanks to a Carson fielding error.
The Cougars could have pushed across many more runs, leaving the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth innings. The hosts stranded 10 baserunners.
“We had a chance to blow open the game a little bit. Taking strike threes is not what should happen in that situation,” Thompson said. “The team has gotten better from the first game until now, and I expect that will be our next evolution. We’ll start doing a better job with runners in scoring position or with two strikes.”
Agliolo and Kelly both had two hits in the win.
Spanish Springs (4-4, 2-1 in Northern 4A) will head to Carson Tuesday to finish off the two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.
Douglas 9, Reed 3
The Raiders lacked the killer instinct Saturday and it cost them a chance for their first league victory.
Reed rallied for three runs on three hits in the first. A.J. Silva doubled home a pair of runs and scored the third thanks to a double steal in a first-and-third situation. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold faithful, it only saw one more Raiders hit the rest of the game.
The Tigers got plenty of help from Reed’s defense in getting their offense going. The Raiders committed five errors and only four runs were earned.
Douglas cut the deficit to 3-2 with a two-run fourth inning, and then took the lead for good with a four-run rally in the fifth. Cole Kynett and Dusty Fisher had RBI singles in the fifth inning.
Two more runs came across for the Tigers in the sixth as Cody Begovich drove one home with his double. Kaleb Foster’s run-scoring single in the seventh made it a 9-3 game.
“It was good for about three innings. We jumped on them but we never put any pressure on them after that,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said. “Their pitcher got in a little rhythm, and next thing you know we’re down. We just didn’t execute, had too many errors. I think our pitching has kept us in games. We’re just not executing and putting runs on the board. Then our defense lets down. That’s kind of where we’re at.”
Begovich was also impressive on the mound, picking up the complete-game victory. He struck out nine and walked four.
Jake Means pitched six innings for the Raiders, striking out five and hitting one batter in the loss.
After starting the season 4-1, Reed has lost its first three league games.
“It’s frustrating a little bit. It’s still early. We still have plenty of series left with teams,” Charles said. “We don’t want to panic. Obviously McQueen is a good team and Douglas is a good team. We’re just going to come out on Monday and fix some things and hopefully come out with a split. If you come out with a split, at least you’re even with that team. It’s definitely not the panic button yet, but it definitely has caught our attention.”
Reed (4-4, 0-3) travels to Minden Tuesday for a 3:45 p.m. contest.