It took one inning for Reno to match its offensive scoring total for the series against the Cougars, but it wasn’t until the fifth and sixth innings that the Huskies took the lead for good against Reed, en route to a 7-6 victory Tuesday.
After the Raiders erased their second two-run deficit of the game with a three-run rally in the top half of the fifth frame, the Huskies went back to work in the bottom half, trailing 5-4.
Reno pitcher Austin Atkerson helped his cause, leading off the fifth with a ground-rule double to center field.
One pitch later, Jeremy Peterson teed off on a Mark Nowaczewski breaking ball, sending it sailing over the fence for a two-run blast and a 6-5 edge.
Reno added an insurance run in the sixth on a wild pitch and it was a good thing.
Atkerson took the mound to start the seventh inning, but he could not record an out.
Reed's No. 9 hitter, Casey Higgins, dropped down a bunt single and he came all the way around to score from first on Joey Dice’s second double of the game. Dice and Higgins both had two hits to lead Reed’s offense.
Reno turned to Graham MacMillan to shut the door on the mound and he did that with the help of a lack of execution by the Raiders. A popped up sacrifice bunt attempt led to the first out.
After MacMillan walked a batter, he got a strikeout and a groundout to shortstop to pick up the save.
“It was a good game on the scoreboard. We hit the ball the best we’ve hit it one through nine I think. Even that last out was hit on the button,” Reed baseball coach John Phenix said. “Reno is a good hitting team. Against a good team like that, you can’t give them extra chances. Mark was behind in the count all day, and when you let that leadoff guy on, it sets the tone.”
Reno managed just two runs in two games against Spanish Springs, but pushed a pair of runs across in the first inning against the Blue and Gold without needing a hit.
Nowaczewski struggled with his command again, walking two and hitting two others in a first inning that saw the Huskies score one run on a wild pitch and another on a hit batsman with the bases loaded.
However, Reed answered. With two swings of the bat in the top of the second, it was a tie ballgame, following a double off the fence by Nowaczewski and a two-run bomb with one out by Brandon Koszuth.
In the bottom of the third, the Huskies regained the lead by posting a second two spot on the scoreboard.
Atkerson led off with a walk and went to second on a passed ball. Peterson delivered the big hit with a double to left field, which allowed Atkerson to score when the throw back to the infield short-hopped the cut-off man. Peterson moved up to third on the throw home.
Two batters later, he trotted home thanks to a Kevin Wallace sacrifice fly, making it a 4-2 lead in favor of the home team.
Reed wouldn’t go quietly, scoring three in the fifth to take a 5-4 advantage. Kevin Koszuth capped the rally with a two-run single to left field. Higgins also drove in a run during the rally.
Atkerson earned the pitching win, allowing six runs in six-plus innings of work. He struck out two, walked one and hit one. At the plate, Atkerson scored three runs.
Nowaczewski was saddled with the loss. He gave up six runs on six hits, four walks and two hit batsmen. He finished with four strikeouts.
Garrett Hampson, Peterson and Chip Bouchard all had two hits for the Huskies.
After seeing its three-game winning streak snapped, Reed (8-4, 4-3) will try to split the series when it hosts Reno at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.
Reed had plenty of chances to end its game with Douglas Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the Raiders will have now have to hit the road and try to finish off the Tigers in Minden, prior to their previously scheduled game Thursday.
During Tuesday night's home game, Reed had the bases loaded with one out in an inning and didn't score. In the 13th, the hosts led off with a triple, but couldn't break the 4-4 deadlock, forcing the game to be suspended.