After Carson started the game by pushing a run across the plate in the top of the first inning, neither team managed to score until the fourth frame.
Brandon Koszuth led the bottom half of the inning off with a walk, followed by a bunt from Dylan Miller that resulted in runners on second and third after the throw to first base sailed into the stands. Brett Chaney put down a squeeze bunt to score Koszuth and tie the contest at 1-1. Casey Higgins followed with a single into center field to give the Raiders a 2-1 advantage.
Just as soon as Reed (10-7, 6-6) had taken the lead, the Senators regained it.
A walk to Dom Norton started the top of the fifth for Carson, putting the tying run on the base paths. Gehrig Tucker followed with a single into right field, leaving runners on the corners. After a Tucker steal put two in scoring position, Norton tied the game at 2-2 on a fielder’s choice. Tucker then rounded the bases on a single back up the middle by Jace Zampirro, giving the Senators a 3-2 advantage.
“I thought both sides played hard,” Reed coach John Phenix said. “They made some good plays. Their pitcher (Chase Blueberg) kept the ball in the infield quite a bit. He gave them a chance to handle the ball and they didn’t make any errors. It’s tough though because we take the lead, then go out and walk the leadoff guy and they just turned it up on us.”
In the bottom half of the inning Reed had a chance to answer, but was left empty-handed.
After Tyler Starley reached base on a bloop single into right field, Mark Nowaczewski ripped a triple into the right-center field gap. Rounding second base though, Starley stumbled and fell, providing the Senators an opportunity to send a relay home to tag Starley out at as he slid head first at the plate. A fly out then ended the inning, leaving Nowaczewski stranded on third.
“For us, it would have swung the momentum our way if we could have scored the run,” Phenix said. “In a big park like this, I didn’t think the kid would be able to make the relay throw. I didn’t even think they were going to try going home. I thought they were going to third. Now looking at the situation, had I held him we would have had Koszuth up with runners on second and third and one out.”
Having escaped with no damage done, the Senators seized the momentum with their bats.
After Casey Wolfe led off with a single and swipe of second, Dustin Dutcher singled to leave Carson with runners on the corners. Norton then laid down a squeeze bunt, scoring Wolfe for a 4-2 edge. A walk to T.J. Thomsen then set the table for Tucker, who sent a two-RBI double slicing into left field to leave the scoreboard reading 6-2 in favor of CHS.
Carson added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to account for the five-run margin.
Next, Reed takes part in the Spanish Springs Tournament over spring break, which is set to begin on Monday.
We’ll be looking for depth and guys that can come off the bench,” Phenix said of the tournament. “We want to make sure everyone is ready to go. Some of them don’t play that much, but we’re going to play them all. We want to get more pitching depth. We have some guys that are capable, but now it’s just about getting them experience and getting them in different situations, defensively and offensively.”