“It’s a great win,” Reed coach Ray Charles said. “That’s a great team that we played so it’s just good to get a victory. We’re trying to gather some momentum and the last two games have both been 5-4 our way, so hopefully
this kind of helps us to start pushing over the hump and getting some of those wins in close games.
“It’s a sweep in terms of beating them twice, but it just gives us a little bit of an advantage if we happen to end up tied with anybody because they’re a good squad and they’re going to beat some teams. It’s nice to have a little bit of momentum against them, because if we end up tied, then we would be higher. Other than that, it’s just another game and we’re just trying to get better. I think we are. We’re doing some better things now. I’m excited about that.”
Down 1-0 after the first inning, the Raiders struck from the dish in the top of the second with a two-out rally.
Senior Tanner Paris began the rally with a single into right field, which was followed by a double into the gap in left field from Ryan Butler to score Paris and tie the game. Beau Tittensor then grounded to short, but an errant throw to first allowed Tittensor to reach safely and Butler to round the bases for a 2-1 Raiders lead
In its next at-bat, the Blue and Gold added another run. Sophomore Joey Dice took a walk and then a stolen base to put himself into scoring position, setting up senior Spencer Jones for an RBI single into center field. A double play ended the inning to leave the scoreboard reading 3-1 in Reed’s favor.
A Reed error in the bottom of the third allowed Galena to get a run back, bringing the deficit to 3-2.
Reed again extended its lead back to two runs in the top of the fourth with another two-out rally, this time taking advantage of an error from the home team that put Butler on first base. Tittensor then stepped into the box and made the Grizzlies pay for their mistake, sending a shot over the left fielder to plate Butler for a 4-2 lead.
Galena refused to go down without a fight, countering in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a pair of Raiders errors.
After a double off the bat of Galena junior Michael Jones, a dropped ball in center field and a bobbled grounder at short loaded the sacks full of Grizzlies. Means struck out the next batter, putting himself one out away from escaping unscathed from the jam, but senior Jorge Medina hit a line drive that dropped in left field to send two runners home and deadlock the game at 4-4.
Not ready to roll over and play dead, Reed senior catcher Chuck Stroberg led off the following inning with a solo bomb deep over the left-field fence, handing the lead to the Raiders yet again, this time for good with the final tally of 5-4.
“Chuck had a great a approach in that AB,” Charles said. “It was a fastball count and he got a fastball and hit it solid. We take the lead at that point and it puts a little pressure on them. It obviously changed the game. If it is tied, it’s a completely different situation. We might have to pull Jake at that point because we’re tied and maybe come in with someone else. In that situation though, he wanted to finish and I gave him the ball.”
Remaining on the mound, Means retired eight of the next 10 batters he faced to earn the complete-game victory. The Raiders’ hurler struck out seven batters in his seven innings of work while walking a pair, hitting one batter, and giving up five hits.
“Jake competes for our team every single time he goes out and he did the same thing today,” Charles said. “He did a phenomenal job. Probably the biggest thing is that he pitched strikes and he allowed his defense to help him too. Throwing strikes is huge.”
Reed (9-8, 5-7 Northern 4A) will use its Easter Break to take part in the Righetti Spring Tournament in Santa Maria, Calif. starting on Thursday.