“We competed and played a good game,” Reed coach Jon Foss said. “The kids did everything we asked them to do. Sometimes, you just come out on the short end of the score.”
Douglas jumped out to a 4-0 lead only to watch Reed come back to grab a slim lead, but the Tigers, which finished as the Sierra League runner-up, had a comeback of their own.
Douglas moved into the tourney’s winners’ bracket and plays at 4 p.m. today against Bishop Manogue, a 10-9 first-round winner over Damonte Ranch. Tuesday’s loss drops Reed into the losers’ bracket to face Damonte Ranch at 1 p.m. Both games will played at Bishop Manogue.
Foss stayed optimistic during postgame discussions.
“We played a good baseball game,” he said. “I’m happy about that. I’m not happy we lost, but if we do it again, we’ll come out on top. Sometimes that’s how it goes. You do a lot of things right and still don’t win.”
A big fifth inning gave Reed, the High Desert League’s No. 2 seed, a 5-4 lead. The RHS nine rapped out five hits in the frame to help account for four runs. Joe Cordi and Casey Yocom laced singles to initiate the Reed threat. Chris Hawthorne tried to get down a sacrifice bunt but it was too good. The baseball died on just the right spot on the grass for an infield single to saturate the sacks.
CJ Maldonado was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Duran DiQuarto hit a Texas-League bloop single that plated Yocom. A single up the middle by Derric Williford brought Hawthorne and Maldonado plateward for the one-run Reed lead.
Reed’s rally did little to faze Douglas. The Tigers answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, to go back on top, 6-5. Tim Rudnick singled and Tyler Hoelzen doubled. A Troy Torres sacrifice fly allowed Rudnick to come home. Tyler May then beat out an infield single that scored Hoelzen.
Douglas helped its cause by grabbing the early momentum.
After Reed was retired in the top of the first without getting a ball out of the infield, the Douglas offense went right to work. Jordan Hadlock and Tanner Thomas were the first two Tigers to come to the plate. They both greeted Reed’s starting pitcher, Williford, with solo home runs.
Williford got out of the first without sustaining further damage but Douglas had a 2-0 edge at the conclusion of the initial inning.
“We left a couple pitches up in the zone and that can hurt you, especially on a windy day like today. That’s about the only thing we did wrong,” Foss said. “Derric struggled a little bit early, but he battled. He found his off-speed pitches and settled down. He kept us in the game.
Williford worked five innings, giving up six runs, four earned. The Tigers tagged Williford with eight of their nine hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Douglas went right back to work in the bottom of the second. Jeff Crozier and Tyler May singled to start the inning. Crozier scored on a wild pitch and May was given home after Reed catcher, Maldonado, threw the baseball out of play on an errant toss trying to get Crozier at the plate. The sequence left the Tigers with a 4-0 lead after two innings.
“It’s always big to get up early. I’m proud of our kids for doing that,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “To score two runs in each of the first two innings was big because we knew Reed would battle. Getting the early lead certainly helps you.”
Reed got on the scoreboard in its half of the third thanks to a Douglas error. Fabian Reza singled. Cordi followed and hit a ball to third base. Douglas’ Torres scooped up the baseball. However, in an attempt to start a double play, he threw wide at second base. The error left Reza at third and Cordi at second with no outs. Reza scored on a sacrifice fly by Yocom, but Hawthorne struck out and Maldonado, one of the most feared hitters in Northern Nevada, hit a pop up foul out to nix Reed’s threat.