PREPS: Blueberg hammers 3 homers in CHS win

RENO - The last three games for Colby Blueberg were nothing to write home about. He was 2-for-10 with six strikeouts, and he was even put on the bench at the end of one game.

He was in dire need of a breakout game, and boy did he have one Saturday.

Blueberg hammered a career-best three homers and drove in five runs, and he pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead Carson to an 8-1 win over Damonte Ranch in a Northern 4A baseball game.

The win was Carson's fifth straight and moved the Senators to 11-3 overall and 7-2 in league entering Tuesday's 3:45 p.m. rematch with the Mustangs, who had a lengthy team meeting at the end of the contest.

"That was some performance," Carson coach Cody Farnworth, who said he had never coached a player that hit three homers in a game. "To his credit, he came out an hour early yesterday to get better. There's a lot to it with Colby. Pitch selection is a big thing with him."

Blueberg said he spent time Friday working with hitting coach Bryan Manoukian.

"I think I got about 225 hacks," Blueberg said. "I was so upset with myself. I just needed to fix some things. I've hit two homers in a game before, but I'm not sure about three; maybe in Little League.

"I got my first and coach Manoukian told me not to think about it, and just hit the ball on the ground. They were tubing the ball."

Blueberg's first shot tied the game at 1 in the top of the second.

The game remained that way until the bottom of the fifth when Matt Gover lifted a flyball to center. Chance Quilling went for the diving catch, but was unable to keep the ball in front of him. Gover easily coasted into second for a double. He ended up at third when centerfielder Austin Pacheco lost the handle on the ball. Gover scored moments later on an infield out.

Pacheco atoned for that error in the next half inning when he slammed the first pitch from Ben Calingaert over the fence in left-centerfield to make it 2-1. It was his first homer since Carson's season-opening 4A win over Wooster.

"The first couple of at-bats they were pitching me outside," Pacheco said. "When I hit the homer he threw me a fastball on the first pitch and I jumped on it. I felt I had to make up for that error."

After Quilling struck out and Adam Whitt grounded to short, Blueberg homered again to make it 3-1.

Carson exploded in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs. Rory Petersen singled and took third on Pacheco's single. Pacheco alertly took second when Damonte failed to throw out Petersen at third. Quilling followed with a two-run single for a 5-1 lead. After Whitt walked, Blueberg capped his monster day with a three-run blast to left.

The only thing left to do was finish what he started on the mound.

Blueberg retired the first two hitters, but walked the third batter and hit the fourth. After a brief chat, Farnworth let Blueberg stay on the hill. Blueberg retired the next hitter to end the game.

"He threw pretty well," Farnworth said. "He threw 100-something pitches, but he's ready for that. I was going to take him out, but he wanted to finish."

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