The visiting Senators broke a 9-9 deadlock with a six-run seventh-inning rally, capped by Colby Blueberg’s three-run home run that sailed into the darkness of the night, just like the Raiders’ hopes of winning.
“When they put crooked numbers up, it’s going to come back to haunt you,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said after the 15-9 home loss.
Carson didn’t hit Reed starting pitcher Spencer Jones hard, but some bleeders and defensive miscues led to his early exit after 2 1-3 innings on the bump. Jones only gave up four hits to the Senators, but three came in Carson’s big third inning.
The visitors had the top of their order coming up to the plate to lead off the top of the third. Jones walked Nick Domitrovich and Rory Petersen plated him from second on his RBI single back up the middle into center field, pushing Carson’s lead up to 3-1.
Austin Pacheco hit a grounder to deep short. It looked like Tanner Parris had a shot at the lead runner, but he chose to make the long throw to first, which came too late, leaving runners on first and second.
A walk to Chance Quilling loaded the bases before Jones got his only out of the inning with a strikeout. However, Jones plunked Adam Whitt, forcing in a run. Zach Harjes came to the plate, still with the bases juiced, and found a hole at deep short. Parris made a diving attempt, knocking the ball down with the tip of his glove. He kept the ball from going into the outfield, but it ricocheted too far away to prevent the second run from scoring on the play.
Carson added on to its 6-1 lead, capping its five-run rally with a single run when Whitt scored from second on an infield error, making it a 7-1 ballgame and ending Jones’ night.
Adam Bolingbroke relieved Jones and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
Bolingbroke struck out three straight batters before allowing a hit to Austin Pacheco in the fourth frame, Pacheco’s third hit of the game. Pacheco scored his third run of the game in the fourth, trotting home from third on Blueberg’s RBI double to left-center field for an 8-1 edge.
Pacheco also blasted a solo homer in the first inning to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
The Raiders tied the game in the bottom half of the first. Ryan Butler led off with a walk and eventually scored on an error.
Carson answered right back with a run in the top of the second. Blueberg walked to open the inning and a passed ball enabled him to sprint home for the go-ahead run. That wouldn’t be the last time the game would be close.
In a bottom of the fifth that brought Raider fans and players alive, Reed rallied for seven runs to tie the game up at 8-8 in an inning that had everything from a near ejection, base running blunders that worked out for the RHS crew and a catcher taking a foul tip to the nether region and never being the same afterward.
Parris and A.J. Silva singled and walked to initiate the fourth-inning rally that saw 12 Raiders enter the batter’s box.
After Carson catcher Harjes was hurt, he lost focus and couldn’t come up with four different pitches. Two of them went for passed balls, allowing Parris to come home. A double switch was made as Carson replaced its entire battery.
Drew Moreland came onto pitch with runners on second and third and no outs. Erik Martinez hit a grounder to shortstop, but Joey Dice, who had walked and went to second on one of the passed balls, was caught too far off second for the first out. Silva scored on the fielder’s choice.
Trailing 8-3, the Raiders were not done. A misplayed grounder let Beau Tittensor get on base and brought Butler back up with runners on first and second. Butler delivered, sitting on a 2-2 curveball and driving it to right-center field for an RBI single. Butler and Tittensor went to second and third thanks to a throw to the plate.
Both runners were homeward bound on Alex Young’s bouncing ball between short and third that made it into the outfield. The two-run single left Reed behind 8-6.
Jason Stroberg followed Young’s high bouncer with a sky-high one-hopper that bounced in front of the plate and sailed over the Carson first baseman. The ball was misplayed in right field, allowing Young and Stroberg to get into third and second, although Stroberg was almost nailed at second. It was a close enough play to leave the Carson staff heated to the point of near-ejection.
The action continued after a minute of arguing and Roberto Velazquez delivered the game-tying hit, driving in Young and Stroberg with a base knock up the middle. Stroberg was able to score when the throw from center field inadvertently went to third behind Stroberg and he just kept rumbling home.
The Senators made things happen on the base paths in the top of the sixth. After Chance Quilling singled, he stole second and then third. But during his thievery of third, the throw from home bounced and traveled into the outfield and Quilling scampered home.
Again, Reed came through with the equalizer thanks to a sacrifice fly by Parris in the bottom of the sixth.
That was as good as it got for the hosts.
Carson batted around in the order, pushing across six runs in the top of the seventh. Reed reliever Jake Means got himself into trouble by hitting and walking the first two batters of the inning. Domitrovich drove them home with a one-out double to left field. He made it 12-9 when he stole third and the throw got into the outfield.
A single and hit batsman put two runners on for Blueberg, who started the game on the mound but only lasted three-plus innings. He helped seal the victory for reliever Casey Wolfe with his three-run bomb to deep right-center field.
Charles liked his pitching rotation heading into the game, but it just did not work out.
“I thought we had worked it out where we had a rotation we wanted in order to pull off the victory,” Charles said. “Jake had been pitching good. Adam has been throwing well. If my starting pitching can keep us in the game early, I think we have a shot. Obviously it didn’t turn out that way today.”
Reed (8-14, 3-10 in Northern 4A) heads to Carson Thursday to conclude the Northern 4A league series with a 6:30 p.m. clash.