Baseball: Carson gets away with win

It's no secret that the Douglas and Carson baseball teams know each other pretty well.

It's evidence in the fact that neither team has been able to sweep the other in the last three years.

In four of their last seven matchups, the game has been decided in the final at-bat.

Thursday night was no different.

Carson got a walkoff grand slam from cleanup hitter Tony Fagan to cap a wacky seventh inning on a blustery afternoon in Carson City to take a 7-3 win over the Tigers, handing Douglas only its second loss of the season.

It was a tough loss but the Carson-Douglas game is always a good one," Douglas coach John Glover said.

What it came down to, basically, was that Carson head coach Steve Cook decided to zig when he usually zags.

The Senators entered the bottom half of the frame trailing 3-2 but a hit batsmen and a walk put two men on with one out.

The runners advanced on a wild pitch and Steve Sawyer scored the tying run on yet another wild pitch, leaving Mark Adams at third with one out..

Knowing Carson's affinity toward executing squeeze plays late in close games, Douglas coach John Glover decided to force Senator skipper Steve Cook's hand and intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases. That brought Fagan to the plate.

Glover then brought an outfielder in plug up one more gap in the infield.

"Absolutely, we wanted to take that squeeze away," Glover said. "They win a lot of games on squeezes. We just wanted to get a ground ball there and take that away from him."

As it was, Fagan got the go-ahead to swing away and took the second pitch he saw deep over the centerfield fence.

It brought an abrupt end to what was otherwise a superb afternoon for the Tigers.

Sophomore lefty Wyatt Graham pitched a stellar six innings, allowing two runs in the first while striking out four and walking just two.

"I thought he had a great game," Glover said. "He gave up those two early, but then he hung five straight zeros up on the board."

Graham gave way to the bullpen after putting the first two on in the seventh.

Douglas was opportunistic on offense, making the most of the opposite end of Carson starter Matt Rutledge's four strikeout, three walk afternoon.

Douglas' Tyler May broke up a no-hitter, leading off the third with a double off the centerfield fence. Jordan Hadlock sacrificed him to third and Niko Saladis sacrificed him home.

The Tigers got things going again in the top of the fifth as Tim Rudnick led off with a single. Jeff White came on to run for Rudnick and May hit a sacrifice to move White to second.

Hadlock singled to shallow left, moving white to third and White scored on a botched pick-off attempt.

With two outs in the inning, Phil Mannelly singled up the middle to bring Hadlock around for the 3-2 lead.

Britt Lewis and Joe Skates each had two hits and Brooks Greenlee and Tony Fagan accounted for one each to lead Carson. Fagan drove in a total of five runs.

Hadlock, Mannelly, Cory Eilers, Nate Whalin, Tim Rudnick and Tyler May each had a hit for Douglas (11-2 in Sierra League play).

-- Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.


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