For the second straight game, Carson High's offense was slow to get on track, and this time the Senators paid the price.
Spanish Springs' Tanner Oates threw shutout ball over 5-plus innings, and the Senators couldn't overcome four errors dropping a 5-3 decision in a Northern 4A baseball game Monday at Ron McNutt Field. The game was a made from after being washed out on Saturday.
The loss snapped Carson's six-game win streak. Carson is 6-2 entering today's game at Spanish Springs.
The three-run effort was Carson's lowest since its 4-3 opening game loss to Damonte Ranch.
"We need to come out better," Carson second baseman Brock Pradere said. "The last two games we've come out a little flat. We have to try to come out hot (today) and be more aggressive. If one of the first three pitches is over the plate, we need to jump on it."
Carson hitters often found themselves behind in the count, and taking some good pitches.
"Oates threw well," Carson coach Cody Farnworth said. "He got ahead with the curveball. We have to make adjustments. We were swinging at some bad pitches and letting some good ones go by."
Oates' performance didn't surprise his coach, Ben Hoffman. Oates threw against Carson in a scrimmage a couple of weeks ago and was hit pretty hard, according to the Carson coaching staff.
"He's a senior pitcher," Hoffman said. "This is his third year he's been on varsity so we expect him to pitch well. I thought he threw well at that scrimmage. Carson just put some good swings on the ball."
Except for the first and fifth innings where Carson got a runner to second base, the offense was nowhere to be found.
The Carson defense didn't come to play either, as Spanish Springs scored twice in the second and once in the third, all unearned, to take a 3-0 lead.
With one out in the third, Jake Bray walked and came around to score when Drew Moreland misplayed Kendall Murphy's groundball. Murphy made it to second on the play and scored on Malcolm Anderson's single to center.
In the fourth, No. 9 hitter Shane Lawson hit a one-out single and moved to second when Carson catcher Rory Petersen was called for catcher's interference for the second time in the game. Oates helped himself with a run-scoring single to make it 3-0. Colby Blueberg retired the side without any further damage.
Blueberg gave up two more in the fifth, as the Senators fell behind 5-0. Garek Tauchen had a run-scoring single and Lawson delivered a sacrifice fly to account for the runs.
"I thought Colby threw well," Farnworth said. "They are one of the best teams in the league, and you can't give good teams extra at-bats (outs)."
Carson finally got going in the sixth with three runs. It should have been more when you consider the Senators scored all three runs with no outs.
Blueberg led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a single by Austin Pacheco. Chance Quilling followed with a single between third and short to score Blueberg to make it 5-1. Nick Domitrovich walked to load the bases.
Exit Oates. Enter Tim Epker.
Adam Whitt singled between first and second, scoring Pacheco and Quilling to make it 5-3. With runners on first and third, TJ Thomsen was caught looking at a third strike. Zak Harjes, who had relieved Blueberg in the sixth, also struck out. To make matters worse, Whitt was thrown out at second because he didn't slide.
The Cougars' brought in Jake Bray, who gave up one hit in the seventh before retiring the side.
NOTES: Whitt will start today on the mound for CHS ... Blueberg and Petersen both stretched their hitting streaks to eight games ... Whitt and Pradere both had two hits in the contest.