Behind a complete game one-hit shutout performance from starting pitcher Austin May, the Raiders took advantage at the plate en route to a 10-0 victory in five innings. In its two contests against the Hawks, Reed outscored Hug 30-0.
Midway through the third inning, the contest was still close as Reed (16-10, 11-7) held a slim 1-0 edge. An eight-spot in the bottom half of the frame quickly changed that for the Blue and Gold.
After seizing a one-run lead in the first inning with an RBI double off the bat of Joey Dice, the Raiders went back to work in the bottom of the third as they batted through the order.
Casey Higgins got things going for the Raiders, ripping a double to straight away center. A Jonathan Pinto single then brought Higgins home, pushing the lead to 2-0. A walk to Dice and a single by Mark Nowaczewski put runners on the corners for RHS before a passed ball scored Dice for a 3-0 lead. With Nowaczewski now standing on second, a single through the left side of the field by Tyler Starley increased the margin to 4-0.
A single by Brandon Koszuth and a walk to Brett Chaney loaded the bases for the Raiders, setting up Kevin Koszuth for a two-RBI single into left field that left the score at 6-0. Dylan Miller the capped the rally off by sending a shot to left field that just barely cleared the wall for a three-run homer, putting the Raiders ahead 9-0.
In the top of the fifth May was still holding on to a perfect game, but a leadoff single back up the middle promptly ended the effort. May finished the five-inning effort with 11 strikeouts and one hit allowed to earn the win.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re throwing against, you still have to pitch,” Reed coach John Phenix said. “This is good experience for him. He was working on things and it was good for him.”
In the bottom of the fifth, back-to-back walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Raiders before Chris Flores enforced the 10-run mercy rule with an RBI single into right field.
Reed will now prepare to visit Douglas Saturday for a Div. I doubleheader. Game 1 is set for 11 a.m. The Raiders have faced DHS twice this season, topping the Tigers 6-5 in their season-opening tournament and dropping a 4-3 decision in the Spanish Springs’ spring break tourney.
“Both games we’ve played them, they’ve both been one-run games, so both teams are pretty equal,” Phenix said. “Down there it’s a different atmosphere to pitch in. It seems like it’s a bigger ballpark than most and it seems to favor the pitcher for that reason. So we have to get in the strike zone right away. We have to challenge them.”