One run was the difference — one hit, actually — Wednesday when the Douglas High baseball team dropped two heart breakers at home against McQueen and Spanish Springs.
Douglas (11-4 overall) allowed two runs in the top of the seventh inning in a 4-3 loss against McQueen and later gave up three unearned runs in the fourth inning of a 3-2 loss against Spanish Springs in games that both ended with the Tigers stranding the potential game-tying run on second base.
Both games were played as part of the Spanish Springs Spring Break Tournament. The Tigers won their first two tournament games, 9-2 against Carson on Monday and 11-4 at North Valleys on Tuesday.
Spanish Springs 3, Douglas 2
Spanish Springs (8-7 overall) broke a scoreless tie with three unearned runs in the fourth inning. Jeff McCusker hit a leadoff double and took third on an error. Douglas starter Cole Peck got the second out on a full-count strikeout, but then Hunter Pinto hit a pop fly single down the right field line to drive the run home. Two more runs scored on a throwing error as the Cougars increased their lead to 3-0.
Douglas got one run back in the bottom half of the inning when Cale Kynett, Dalton Grisell and Dillon Lopez connected for successive singles. Spanish Springs pitcher Jake Prizina escaped further damage when he retired the side on a ground out, infield pop fly and strikeout.
Douglas threatened again in the sixth inning when Kynett reached base on an infield hit. Then, with one out, Lopez hit a screaming line drive up the middle for a single. The threat ended when Kynett was thrown out at the plate on the back end of a double steal attempt on a throw from shortstop Justin Mannens to catcher Kory Glatthar.
In the seventh, Logan Fencl lined a double to left field to ignite another Douglas rally. Jake Haley came on to pitch in relief of Prizina and allowed a two-out single to right field by Michael Mejia. Pinch runner Andew Bigam advanced to second base on a balk, however, Haley got a called strikeout to end the game.
Peck pitched the distance for the Tigers, allowed seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk, and the senior left-hander helped his own cause by picking two runners off first base.
Peck was aided by a sliding catch by right fielder Grisell on a long fly ball down the line to start the sixth inning. The play became significant when the next two Cougars delivered base hits.
Pinto hit 3-for-3 to lead Spanish Springs offensively.
MCQUEEN 4, DOUGLAS 3
Cameron Thomas slammed a two-run double to center field to break a 2-2 tie with one out in the top of the seventh inning and then the Lancers held on to win the opening game.
Douglas answered in the bottom half of the inning when Grisell hit a leadoff double into the left-center field gap and scored when Kynett lined a one-out single to center. Then, with two outs, Lopez drew a full-count walk to put the potential game-winning run on first base. But McQueen starter Jon Weethee ended the game on a fly out to left field.
Weethee allowed seven hits to go with four strikeouts and two walks for McQueen. Kyle Johnson pitched all the way for Douglas, allowed six hits with nine strikeouts, no walks and one hit batsman.
Douglas took an early lead with one run in the second inning when Parker Dixon walked, stole second and scored on Dusten Plante’s RBI single. The Tigers pushed their lead to 2-0 in the third on Kaleb Foster’s RBI triple.
McQueen tied the score with two runs in the fifth on three successive base hits. The damage was limited when Lopez, Plante and Santos combined to turn a 6-4-3 double play.