The Carson Blue Jays got plenty of big hits Thursday night, but the two biggest belonged to No. 9 hitter Joe Tonino.
Tonino hit a two-run single to spark a four-run second inning, added a big two-run double to key a five-run fifth and added a fifth RBI with an infield out to lead Carson to a wild 13-8 win against McQueen at Ron McNutt Field.
Carson improved to 2-1 and hosts Reed today at 6 p.m.
“The two biggest hits of the game came from the nine hole,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said. “We’ve had some good nine hitters here, and I’m hoping Joe can fill that role.
“Normally when you walk 10 guys, you lose the game. Fortunately we got some clutch hits. It’s a win and I’ll take it.”
Tonino said he felt comfortable hitting at the bottom of the order, following in the footsteps of Jesse Lopez, who was a stalwart in that spot the past two years.
Tonino said Manoukian has talked to him about batting ninth.
“He wants me to fill that role,” he said. “I feel comfortable in that spot. When I get up there, I’m just trying to get a hit and turn the order over.”
Carson took a 4-0 lead in the second on the strength of four hits and a walk.
Colby Zemp walked and advanced to second on a single by Landon Truesdale. Teigen Key followed with a bunt single, loading the bases. After Gryphon Matthies struck out looking, Tonino lined a single between third and short to make it 2-0.
A single by Kyle Glanzmann made it 3-0. Abel Carter ripped a one-hopper to second, forcing Glanzmann but bringing home Tonino with the final run of the inning.
McQueen fought back with one off starter/winner Jared Barnard in the third thanks to a single by Logan Anderson, a hit batter and two passed balls.
Barnard departed in favor of Reese White in the fifth, and the junior yielded three runs on two walks, an error, two sacrifice flies and a run-scoring double by Mason Winship. The second sacrifice fly knotted the game at 4.
Carson rebounded with five in the bottom of the fifth, and Tonino again came up big.
Carter led off with an infield single and Barnard was retired on a fly ball. Carter was picked off for the second out. Kahle Good kept the inning alive with a walk.
A single by Zemp loaded the bases. Truesdale drove in two runs with a single to make it 6-4.
Key doubled to left to score Truesdale to make it 7-4, and after Matthies walked, Tonino drilled a double to make it 9-4.
“I was expecting a fastball,” Tonino said. “He didn’t have a curveball.”
McQueen scored three in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-7 off reliever Josh Ingram, but Carson put up its second four run-inning of the game to make it 13-7. Carter, Zemp and Good all had hits in the inning.
Tonino drove in a run with a shot back up the middle that the pitcher knocked down and threw him out at first.
Reno A’s 10, Blue Jays 6
RENO – On Tuesday, the Reno A’s scored five runs in their last two at-bats to pull out the victory.
Reno led 1-0 after one, but Carson scored three times in the third to take a 3-1. Colby Zemp had a run-scoring double, and the other two runs came on an error and wild pitch.
Reno scored four in the third and two in the fifth for a 7-3 lead.
Carson scored three in the sixth, two coming on a homer and one on a single by Delsin Roberts.
Carter, Glanzmann and Roberts had two hits apiece.