The Raiders scored a run in the eighth inning to take home an exciting 3-2 victory over the Lancers.
After six innings, Reed’s sophomore starting pitcher Mark Nowaczewski allowed only one run on three hits to McQueen. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, a pitch got away from him and skipped to the backstop and gave Lancer Josh Davis enough time to sprint home to tie the game at 2-2. It would turn out to be a small blunder in an otherwise fantastic outing.
Nowaczewski finished having thrown eight strikeouts with 105 pitches. Head baseball coach Ray Charles couldn’t have asked for more from his starter.
“Mark pitched outstanding. He battled for us the whole time,” Charles said. “He threw strikes, worked ahead of the batters, and had his off-speed pitches working. He threw it a little more than I wanted him to but he wanted the ball so I let him have it.”
In the Raiders’ half of the eighth inning, two hits and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs. Both junior Spencer Jones and senior Erik Martinez were thrown out at home plate after two consecutive fielder’s choices. Junior Beau Tittensor was then hit by a Logan Comphel pitch which forced in junior Connor Cox, the eventual game-winning run.
Raider reliever Jake Means retired three straight batters with a runner on third base in the bottom of the eighth inning to give his team the victory.
Reed took a 2-1 lead after the first inning thanks to an RBI single by both senior Roberto Velazquez and Cox. The score would remain unchanged until the seventh inning.
Reed 14, Drake 9
The Raiders came away with a 14-9 victory over the Drake Pirates from San Anselmo, Calif. before their game against McQueen. The match-up was called after the sixth inning because of time concerns.
Reed’s Spencer Jones contributed in a big way when he smashed a grand slam over the center-field fence in the third inning to raise the score to 12-4.
Junior Ryan Butler belted a triple in the bottom of the fourth to bring in two more runs. The score at that point was 14-9 and it would stay that way.
“We’re pretty positive about our two wins today. Our defense was clean too,” Charles said. “There were a lot of hits against Drake and we didn’t throw the ball as well. That wasn’t as clean but it’s still a good win for us. We took some of that momentum and carried it into the McQueen game.”
Reed has now beaten Drake, a team from California, and Mountain View High from Orem, Utah. There’s something the Raiders like about teams from different states. Charles believes it’s the unfamiliarity these teams bring with them.
“It’s nice to play different teams because you don’t know them. They could have three or four really good players and we just play,” he said. When we play these teams, we just play baseball.”
Reed has improved to 8-12 overall and is 3-9 in Northern 4A showdowns.
The Raiders take on Spanish Springs in the championship game of the Athletics Unlimited spring break tournament today at 12:30 p.m.
Carson will next come to visit on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to continue league play.