Tuesday’s meeting between the two schools was far less dramatic.
Reno pitcher Vinnie Koci threw a complete game and the Huskies offense pounded his counterpart en route to a 9-2 home win.
“I thought we were a little bit flat. I don’t think we came out with the right mentality,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said. “The end result is a 9-2 loss. We kind of just showed up and thought we could win without any intensity or drive to finish.”
After going down in order in the bottom of the first against Reed starting pitcher Mark Nowaczewski, the Huskies nearly batted around the order in the second on their way to posting four runs on the scoreboard.
Seconds after Reed center fielder A.J. Silva moved to his left, R.J. Bush scorched a line drive to dead center field. Silva nearly caught the sinking liner but it got past him and rolled to the fence, giving Bush a leadoff triple.
Following a strikeout for the first out, Kellen Richards hit a frozen rope to center field, breaking the scoreless tie with an RBI double.
A walk to Kevin Wallace put runners on first and second.
A second strikeout left Nowaczewski one out away from getting out of the inning with only one run of damage. He wasn’t that lucky.
No. 9 hitter Tyler McElroy skied a shot opposite field to right, allowing the gusts blowing out that direction to carry it. The ball bounced off the warning track and over the fence for a ground-rule double, plating Richards.
With two runners in scoring position, Garrett Hampson did the same thing as McElroy. This time the ball stayed within the confines of Zunini Field. Hampson hustled all the way to third for a two-run triple, making it a 4-0 ballgame.
Reno went up 5-0 after three innings thanks to Richards’ RBI single in the bottom of the third.
The Raiders erased the goose egg off the board in their half of the fifth.
A two-base error got things started. Casey Higgins sprayed a soft liner opposite field to left, moving Spencer Jones up to third. Jones came home on Ryan Butler’s RBI fielder’s choice.
The 5-1 deficit was as good as it got for the Blue and Gold, which then watched Reno post another four spot on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth.
A hit batsman and catcher’s interference put the first two runners on base for the Huskies.
Richards’ third hit of the game found the hole between short and third to load the bases. Nowaczewski walked the next batter, forcing in a run.
Then Jeremy Peterson yanked the first pitch he saw to left field, one-hopping the fence for a two-run double that ended Nowaczewski’s outing. A sacrifice fly by Hampson and his third RBI of the game increased the hosts’ advantage to 9-1. All nine runs were charged to Nowaczewski, who also gave up nine of the Huskies’ 10 hits.
Koci allowed three hits through the first five innings of his complete game. In the sixth, he gave up two hits in the same inning for the only time in the game and it allowed Reed to score its final run.
Silva led off the top of the sixth with a dribbler down the third-base line for an infield base hit. Silva got into scoring position thanks to a wild pitch.
After two straight outs, Jones put a charge into a Koci offering, driving it into center field for a run-scoring double.
Koci scattered five hits, allowing one earned run. He struck out four and walked one.
“He threw strikes. They got us to roll over on a few balls and made plays when they had to,” Charles said. “You have to give their pitcher credit.”
Richards, the only Husky with more than one hit, led Reno with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Bush reached base safely three times and found his way home for a trio of runs.
Reed (14-12, 9-10 in Northern 4A) will close out its regular season today in the second game against Reno. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. at the east Sparks school.