Reed jumped out to an 8-2 at Bishop Manogue and watched the Miners rally back to within one before succumbing to the Raiders, 8-7.
Reed baseball coach John Phenix mixed up his batting order and defensive lineup and it paid off immediately.
“We threw them around, and I talked to some coaches about a couple of things,” Phenix said. “I wanted to go with some left-handed kids. We had three out of four in the lineup. Then they come out with a left-handed pitcher to start the game. I didn’t know they had another left-hander. But it worked out. We made some switches that worked out for us. I was happy.”
Joey Dice moved up from the No. 3 hole to the leadoff spot and smoked a 1-2 pitch off the left-field fence for a double.
Two batters later Tyler Starley ripped a fly ball to center field that carried just beyond the outstretched glove of MJ Farthing, falling for an RBI double.
While Reed led 1-0 after its first at-bat, the east Sparks school left the bases loaded in the opening inning.
The lead was short-lived.
Manogue leadoff hitter Alec West blooped a single to left field. He went first to third on a single to right field by Kyle Lewis.
Farthing did his job, lifting a deep fly ball to center field to plate West for the tying run.
Lewis swiped second and moved up to third on an infield groundout, allowing him to score when a ball was booted at shortstop, handing the Miners a 2-1.
That edge also didn’t last long.
In the top of the second, Dylan Miller and Jake Lehmann led off with a walk and base hit respectively. Both came home on a grounder up the middle by Brett Chaney, pushing the Raiders ahead 3-2.
Reed added five runs in the third. For the second straight inning, Manogue starting pitcher Casey Trosclair walked the leadoff guy. Walks would prove to be his undoing.
After a ground ball out, a walk to Casey Higgins put runners on the corners and ended Trosclair’s outing after 2 1-3 innings. He gave up five runs on four hits and four walks. He also hit a batter.
Miller welcomed reliever Austin Vial with a run-scoring single to shallow center, making it a 4-2 ballgame.
After a walk loaded the bases with two outs, a throwing error on a routine grounder allowed two runs to score on the play. Back-to-back wild pitches pushed across two more runs, capping the five-run rally that sent Reed into a 8-2 advantage. Four of those runs were unearned.
After a mostly quiet four innings for the hosts, the Miners quickly struck for a four spot in the bottom of the fifth, closing the gap to 8-6.
No. 9 hitter Anthony Damonte started things off with a bunt single. He scored when West scorched a triple to the gap in right-center field. West came home thanks to an error at third base.
Manogue pushed two more runs across on an RBI groundout by Devonte German and a sac fly by Kyle Pruneau.
In the seventh, Reed left the bases loaded for the second time in the game. The Raiders stranded 12 base runners total.
That left the door open for the Miners, who had the top of the batting order coming up to start the bottom half of the seventh.
West doubled down the left-field line to finish a home run away from hitting for the cycle.
Two straight groundouts to second base brought him home.
Clean-up hitter Devonte German came to the plate with two outs representing the tying run. Reed pitcher Thomas Sertic had German’s number all day.
With the count 2-2, Sertic fired a high fastball past German in what appeared to end the game. However, Sertic was called for a controversial illegal pitch. That left the count full and added some tension. Sertic relieved that tension by getting German to whiff on a high and outside heater. Sertic earned the win Thursday after picking up the save in Tuesday’s victory.
Dice and Chaney paced Reed’s offense with two hits apiece.
The Raiders (7-3, 3-2) will try to sweep Manogue Saturday at home. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.
“Thomas stepped up big time. He already has twice,” Phenix said. “(Chris) Flores will get the ball on Saturday. It’s his turn. He deserves it. He’s capable…It’s nice to not have to worry about getting swept or having to split, especially against these guys because they’re one of the top teams.”
In the Rail City, Spanish Springs scored all of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and that's all it would need in a 3-2 home win over Reno.
Gehrig Parks recorded the pitching victory, throwing six innings of four-hit ball. He struck out seven and walked three. Only one of the Huskies' runs was earned.
After Reno took a 1-0 lead in top of the fourth, the Cougars answered with three in the bottom half of the inning.
Jake Haley went 3-for-3 for with an RBI to lead Spanish Springs. Jeff McCusker also drove in a run and scored one as well.
The Cougars were lucky to come away with the win after committing five errors. The Huskies had three errors and only one of Spanish Springs' runs was earned.
The two teams will conclude the series Saturday at RHS. First pitch is at 11 a.m.