The Reed High baseball team faced more disappointment Friday, falling 9-6 at North Valleys in the final game of the season for both teams.
Reed (12-17, 7-11 High Desert League) had already been eliminated from playoff contention and was unable to muster up a final victory Friday against the Panthers.
“It was the last game of the season,” Reed coach Nick Royle said. “It’s always nice when the last series comes down that you have something to play for, and we didn’t …When there’s nothing to play for, the guys just kind of go through the motions.
“Hopefully, you end the season off positive with a win. Unfortunately for us we’re on the other side. We lose. It pretty much sums up the season. When we wanted it, we wanted it. When we didn’t, we didn’t. We let things get away.”
Things started off fine for the Raiders Friday as they scored a quick two in the first inning. RHS senior Casey Yocom doubled to start off the day and scored on a passed ball. Eric Wilkinson reached on a walk and was driven home by a Duran DiQuarto double.
“It’s kind of sad, because I’ve been here all four years,” Reed’s Casey Yocom said. “The coaches were great this year. All my teammates, they were just great. We were really close. It’s just kind of sad.”
The 2-0 score didn’t last long for Reed.
North Valleys (8-10 HDL) answered back quickly. Zachary White and Tyler Molder put runners on for the Panthers after getting walked and hit by a pitch respectively. They were driven in by a Jason Rasmusson single to right field, which was misplayed. Rasmusson reached third on the error.
The Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the third, putting up three runs in the inning. Reed tied it up in the next frame at five apiece. Derek Garcia walked and Fabian Reza singled. With two outs, Ryan Butler tripled to drive both in, leaving the Raiders down 5-4. Butler then scored on a passed ball.
North Valleys broke the tie in the bottom of the same inning, posting four runs in the fourth for a 9-5 lead. With the bases loaded, Rasmusson hit a double to drive in three runs and he scored on an RBI single by Josh Mathis.
Senior Sam Petrie pitched five innings for Reed. He gave up nine runs and six hits. He recorded eight strikeouts.
The Panthers held their lead, but Reed threatened it some. The Raiders put up one more run in the fifth inning but it wasn’t enough to pull away with a come-from-behind victory.
“It was a bit of a roller coaster,” Yocom said on his four years at Reed. “It went fast. I wish I could go back and relive it and do some other things different ways.”
Reed loses nine seniors from this year’s roster. The Raiders will miss the regional playoffs for the first time in more than 25 years.
“That is a lot,” Royle said. “Next year, we’re going to be really young. It’s a new season and we’ll see what happens. We may struggle like we did this year. We may struggle even worse, or we may be even better. We won’t know until next year.”