“I really wanted to help get these kids at least one win (in regionals),” Reed assistant coach Jon Phenix said. “They deserved that. They’ve just been a great group to work with, a great group to coach.”
Phenix, the highly successful Reed head coach from 1980-2003, has been an assistant on the Raiders’ staff the past two seasons and has filled in as the head coach over the past week since the Washoe County School District put Raiders head coach Ray Charles on administrative leave.
“The kids have done a good job dealing with that,” Phenix said. “I think what happened today is we had an emotional, hard-fought game yesterday, that we lost, and it took a little out of us. We got a couple runs early and we kind of bounced back but then we hit a lull.”
Reed (14-15) and Manogue played a close contest through five-plus innings Wednesday before the home team created some separation with a six-run sixth inning.
Leading 4-2, Manogue put the game away with its big inning. The private Catholic school blew the game open with the six-run outburst. Reed retired the first Miners hitter of the inning, but the Manogue offense got going from there. Anthony Damonte walked and Connor Thompson doubled. Both scored on a single by Louie Damonte.
Next, MJ Farthing singled and Logan Howard walked to saturate the sacks. Jake Pomi and Kyle Lewis proceeded to each lace two-run singles, capping the outburst.
Austin Burkett picked up the pitching win for the Miners. He worked five innings, striking out seven and walking two. He gave up two runs, one earned, while allowing three hits in the start.
“Austin had an injury the first part of the season, but since he’s gotten back to 100 percent, his last five or six starts have been exactly like that,” veteran Manogue coach Charles Oppio said. “He throws strikes with three pitches and he throws them in all counts. I don’t care who you are. If you can do that, you’re going to be successful.”
Reed took an early 2-0 lead with single scores in the first and second. Ryan Butler led off the RHS first with a walk and came around to score after a stolen base, Manogue throwing error and single by teammate AJ Silva.
Reed’s second-inning run came on a solo homer by Spencer Jones.
Manogue, which had been shut out through its first eight innings of postseason play, finally found some offense in the bottom of the second as it took the lead with a trio of runs. Lewis singled and Patrick Hinojosa reached on an error. After an infield popup for the first out, Anthony Damonte singled home Lewis. Thompson followed with a single to score Hinojosa. A double by Louie Damonte plated Anthony Damonte to cap the Miners’ scoring in the inning.
Manogue extended its edge to 4-2 when it tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth. Howard roped a one-out double and came plateward after a wild pitch and sacrifice fly by Pomi.
The 10 runs were a welcome sight for the Miners who were shut out in a 1-0 upset first-round loss to Damonte Ranch Tuesday.
“We didn’t do anything different today,” Oppio said. “It was just a different look from a different pitcher. Hopefully, this production keeps going. As the tournament keeps going and the pitching thins out, you better be hitting the ball.”
Reed was limited to seven hits in defeat. Silva and Jones were both 3-for-4 but the rest of the RHS lineup had just one hit. Silva and Jones manned the Raiders’ No. 4 and No. 5 slots in the batting order. Reed’s one through three hitters were a combined 1-for-10.
“Our pitch selection was poor,” Phenix said. “We weren’t aggressive on the first pitch like we were yesterday against Reno. We fell behind and then went out of the strike zone. We weren’t able to get runners on and manufacture anything.”