Reno became the latest unlikely victim, falling 4-3 in extra innings Tuesday.
“I’m excited for them. That’s a pretty big win for the program,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said. “It’s good for our kids to gut it out. We made some mistakes, and I made some mistakes. Just to compete and give up one run in each of the first three innings and not give up anymore runs is huge.”
The Huskies didn’t do themselves any favors. After scoring single runs in the first, second and third innings to grab a 3-0 lead, Reno didn’t score again and gave Reed plenty of chances to come back with poor defense.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Huskies committed three errors to let the winning run come home. The visiting team on the scoreboard had seven errors in the game.
“Anytime any team gives you extra opportunities, you either take advantage of it or you don’t,” Charles said. “Today we found a way. We kept battling, and they gave us some opportunities and we took advantage of it. We’ll take it. It’s been on the other foot in a lot of games this year. For us to push through in this one is pretty good.”
To lead off the bottom of the eighth, Tanner Parris hit a pop-up high above the pitching mound. With three infielders converging, third baseman Zach Nyman took control but dropped the ball.
Beau Tittensor then dropped down a hard bunt. Nyman charged the ball and tried to make a play on the run, but came up empty with his glove, putting runners on first and second with no outs for Reed.
Spencer Jones dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving both runners into scoring position.
No. 9 hitter Erik Martinez came to the plate. After Reno coach Jim Pace yelled to his shortstop Anthony Hascheff that Martinez was going to hit the ball to him, Martinez did just that. Hascheff tried to play the grounder off a short hop, but couldn’t field it cleanly, allowing the game-winning run to score.
The Raiders tied the game in the bottom of the seventh thanks to more generosity by the Huskies.
With Reed trailing 3-2, junior Ryan Butler led off the inning with a high chopped down the third-base line. Nyman caught the ball falling into foul territory. There was no way he could throw out Reed’s speedy leadoff hitter, but he fired to first anyway. The throw sailed way over the first baseman, letting Butler rush to second base.
Alex Young did his job getting down a sacrifice bunt, moving the tying run 90 feet from home plate.
With one out, Jason Stroberg ripped a pitch down the right-field line for the game-tying RBI double, sending the game into extra innings.
Offensively, the Huskies were shut down by Jake Means, who took over mound duties in the third inning. Means was spectacular, holding Reno hitless over the final four innings to earn the pitching victory, while the Raider offense chipped away at the Huskies’ lead.
Reed (12-16, 7-12 in Northern 4A) only managed two hits off Reno starting pitcher Alex Graybar through four innings, but finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth frame.
A one-out error at third allowed Martinez to get on base and started the Raiders’ rally.
Butler hit a grounder to shortstop, but Hascheff had to dive to knock it down. Butler reached with an infield single.
Young followed with a bouncer up the middle. Second baseman Garrett Hampson had a chance to keep the ball in the infield. Instead, he didn’t dive and Martinez scored on Young’s RBI single from second and Butler went first to third.
Stroberg cut the deficit to 3-2 with his sacrifice fly to right field.
Tuesday’s game was moved to Reno High due to flooding at Reed’s field. Today’s series conclusion will be at the east Sparks school at 3:45 p.m.
“We’re going to try to take care of our business and we’ll see what happens,” Charles said.