Carson said last week he has seen improvement in some areas, but not enough in all areas to keep the Raiders running on a level plane.
Carson got some of what he has been looking for in the second game of a two-game set with Soddy-Daisy Tuesday night with a strong 5-3 district win.
“It is what we have been looking for,” said a pleased Carson. “We played some good defense, made some good defensive plays. We got a couple of times hits and got our bunts down. That really helped out and Taylor Thompson did a great job on the mound.”
After Monday’s loss Cleveland (8-10, 3-5 District 5-AAA) came out swinging against the Trojans, scoring two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Wyrick got it started with a double and Robert Parr trotted to first after being hit by a pitch. Conor Hale put the Raiders on top with a 2-RBI single.
The Trojans (10-10, 7-1) fired back in the upper portion of the third to tie the game at 2-2.
Cleveland came right back in the bottom of the inning to jump back out front, 3-2, with a towering home run over the 345-foot sign in right-center field.
Soddy tied the game once again in the fourth inning only to have the Blue Raiders work their way back out front in the bottom of the inning.
Cleveland played small ball to take the lead beginning with Michael Henderson legging out an infield single and Tyler Shugart reaching after being plunked. Both runners moved up on a perfect sacrifice bunt off the bat of Wyrick. Henderson made it 4-3 after hustling home on a passed ball.
The Raiders missed out on at least one more run when Parr executed a perfect squeeze bunt. But a sliding Shugart was ruled out at the plate.
After holding the Trojans scoreless again in the top of the fifth, Cleveland tacked an insurance run on the board to go up 5-3. Jake Moats started with a single and gave way to courtesy runner Tyler Croft. Hale moved Croft up with a sacrifice bunt and a ground ball advanced the runner to third where he scored on a bloop infield single off the bat of Kimsey Bell.
“They did an excellent job of laying the bunts down, even on the squeeze. Their guy made a fantastic play on that. I’m proud of our kids. They never quit. Maybe this will get us on a roll,” said Carson. “We’ve been telling the kids all along we believe in them and they just have to believe in themselves. Hopefully, this will get us going down the right road.”
BLUE RAIDERS 5, TROJANS 3
Soddy-Daisy 021 000 0 — 3 10 1
Cleveland 201 011 x — 5 7 0
WP: Taylor Thompson. LP: Jake Leffew. HR: Robert Parr (C). 2B: Leffew (SD). Highlights: Parr 2-2 (C). Records: Soddy-Daisy 10-10, 7-1 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 8-10, 3-5 District 5-AAA.