Joe Nelson didn’t get much offensive support, but he didn’t need it.
Nelson, an incoming junior at Carson High School, pitched six strong innings of four-hit ball and helped himself with a run-scoring groundout to lead the Carson Blue Jays to a 2-0 win over the Douglas Tigers Saturday afternoon during the Reno Knights Memorial Day Tournament at Ron McNutt Field.
Douglas went 1-4 during the weekend, including a 9-2 win over Wooster, with a young roster that primarily consists of players from the junior varsity and a couple of incoming ninth graders. With the departure of nine seniors on graduation day, Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen is looking at this summer as a building process.
“We had 15 new faces so it was almost a meet-and-greet as far as the coaches getting to know the kids and them getting to know us,” said Jacobsen, whose club is playing an independent scheduled.
Nelson threw 91 pitches before turning the ball over to Terek Been, who registered the save.
“That was an outstanding pitching performance,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said of Nelson, who played for Carson’s JV team this spring.
Nelson escaped a bases-loaded situation in the first and a first-and-third situation in the fourth. Douglas also left a runner in scoring position in the seventh.
“You are not going to win any games when you don’t score,” Jacobsen said. “We’re not the type of team that is going to get 10 to 15 hits in a game, so hopefully we’re going to get the clutch hits when the opportunities present themselves. If we had put a couple of runs on the board in the first it would have made a big difference in the game.”
Tomas Lightenbauer led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Cale Kynett walked and Blake Murray moved the runners to second and third with a groundball to the right side. Logan Fencl walked to load the bases and Nick Wilkinson lined out to Josiah Pongasi at short.
Carson scored the only run it really needed in the bottom of the first off lefty Ben Penwell when Connor Pradere walked and was forced at second by Pongasi, who stole second, was balked to third and scored on Nelson’s roller to shortstop.
Penwell allowed just two hits and was effective in keeping Carson off balance.
“This is such a great hitting league, soft-throwing left-handers are either real effective or don’t last long,” Manoukian said. “He (Penwell) did a good job of making good pitches when he had to and he did a good job of keeping us off balance.”
Zach Davies collected two hits for the Tigers.