It looked like the first-inning run was all the Tigers would need in an elimination game with Reed Wednesday.
However, Reed senior Tyler Starley had other ideas. The Raiders’ leadoff hitter blasted a three-run home run, capping a five-run rally that gave the No. 6 seed a 5-2 win over the No. 7 seed at Reno High.
Trailing 2-0, Reed tried to mount a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth off Douglas starting pitcher Kyle Johnson.
After back-to-back singles by Starley and Casey Higgins, a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Reed came away empty handed as Joey Dice hit a 2-0 pitch to shortstop, ending the threat.
The Raiders started a sixth-inning rally from the first batter. Mark Nowaczewski and Brandon Koszuth dumped soft liners into shallow center field for base hits. A sacrifice bunt by Dylan Miller moved both runners up 90 feet.
Nowaczewski came home on a sac fly by Brett Chaney, and Kevin Koszuth tied it up by lacing a two-out single to left field on the first pitch he saw on the day.
Reed wasn’t done though. Jonathan Pinto worked his way on base with a walk, keeping the inning alive for the top of the order. Starley stepped up to the plate and launched a shot down the left-field line, clearing the fence for a three-run home run.
With one out in the top of the first, Douglas’ Cody Carter hit a chopper up the middle that deflected off Reed pitcher Nowaczewski’s glove. Second baseman Starley tried to make the tough play, but his throw to first got away, allowing Carter to reach second base.
A wild pitch advanced him to third, where he scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Nolan Weintz, the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 loss to the Cougars a day earlier.
Nowaczewski went 5 1-3 innings on the mound for the Raiders. He only allowed four hits, but walked five and hit two batters. Those walks came back to hurt him.
Kaleb Foster led off the third with a base on balls. Dillon Lopez singled up the middle and another walk to Cale Kynett loaded the bases. Joe Almeida then drew a third walk in the inning, forcing in Foster for a 2-0 score.
Johnson ran out of gas in the sixth for the Tigers. Reed finished with 11 hits, led by a 3-for-4 effort by Higgins. Starley and Nowaczewski both had two hits.
Chris Flores gave up one hit in 1 2-3 innings of relief to pick up the win.
Reed will play in another elimination game, this time facing Damonte Ranch, a 9-6 loser to Bishop Manogue in eight innings. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Reno High School.