There is very little room for error, if any, when playing an undefeated opponent, .
A case in point was seen Tuesday when the Douglas High baseball team gave up three errors and Northern Division I-leading Reno capitalized to score a 9-1 victory at Tiger Field.
Sullivan Cauley hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Brock Tsukamoto hit a grand slam home run in the sixth to put Reno (24-2, 17-0) on track to its victory
Douglas (17-9 overall, 11-6 league) came into the day tied with Reed and Bishop Manogue for third-place in the league standings. Coach Bruce Jacobsen was quick to admit afterward the Tigers didn’t play well enough to knock off the Huskies.
“We made too many mistakes against a real good team,” Jacobsen said. “You can’t give a team like that extra outs or extra at-bats because they’ll jump on you. I mean, they’re 17-0 for a reason.”
An error and Jeremy Peterson’s sacrifice fly gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Tsaukamoto reached base on a bunt single and scored on Joseph Clark’s single to make it 2-0 in the second. In the fourth, Peterson reached base on a dropped pop fly and Cauley followed with a drive that cleared the fence, barely beyond the reach of Douglas right fielder Dalton Grisell for a two-run homer.
Ben Penwell started on the mound for the Tigers and allowed four runs (two earned) before departing in the fourth.
“I thought Ben had a real good outing,” Jacobsen said of the junior left-hander. “He hadn’t pitched in a couple of weeks, but he went out against the top team in the league and gave us a chance to compete. If we had made a few more plays and gotten a couple of timely hits, who knows what might have happened.”
The Tigers scored their only run in the fifth inning when Cole Peck and Cale Kynett singled and Parker Dixon followed with a run-scoring single.
Reno added one more run in the seventh inning, however, freshman Haden Keller was respectable in his one inning as a relief pitcher. He retired Reno’s No. 3 and 4 hitters before Cauley singled, Nick Cibula walked and Tsaukamoto hit a pop fly single that dropped for an RBI single.
The Tigers received another bright spot from one of their young players in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore Tomas Leitenbauer lined a two-out single into right field in his first at-bat of the season.
“First pitch, first at-bat and he gets his first base hit,” Jacobsen said. “That’s always cool to see.”
Matthew Young started on the mound and worked 5.2 innings to earn the win for the two-time defending region tournament champion Huskies. Cauley and Tsaukamoto both hit 3-for-4 to lead the Huskies offensely.
“They’ve got good talent and they’re well coached,” Jacobsen said. “But we’ll get back after it again Thursday and see what we can do.”
Douglas faces a critical 11 a.m. doubleheader Saturday against Reed in Sparks.