It’s rivalry week for the Douglas High baseball team.
Douglas (18-11 overall, 12-8 league) and Carson (12-16, 8-12) have clinched berths in the upcoming Northern Division I Region Tournament, however, that won’t make any difference when the rivals open their two-game series today with a 3:45 p.m. contest at Tiger Field. The action shifts to Carson City on Thursday with a 7 p.m. game to end the regular season at Carson’s Ron McNutt Field.
“The Carson-Douglas series is always a battle,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “It’s a rivalry, so you never know what’s going to happen. No doubt, we’re going to have to play well to beat them.”
Carson has lost six straight games, including 18-8 and 10-9 setbacks Saturday at Spanish Springs. Meanwhile, the Tigers are coming off a doubleheader split Saturday at Reed in which they dropped a 3-2 decision in the opener and came back to secure a 7-5 victory in game two.
The win was obviously a big one for the Tigers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
“Absolutely, to bounce back and get that second win was huge,” Jacobsen said. “We came out swinging in that second game.”
Cole Peck pitched six innings to earn credit for the win. Peck has now won four times this season when the Tigers were coming off a loss — he has allowed three runs in those four games — and two of the wins came against Reed (17-7, 14-6).
The senior left-hander worked six innings and departed with a 7-1 lead in this one. Reed scored four runs in the seventh inning, however, and the Raiders had the potential tying runs in scoring position. Kyle Johnson, who pitched a complete game in the opener, returned to the mound with two outs and got the final out on a ground ball to Zach Davies at third base to earn his second save of the season.
Johnson also hit a three-run homer, Matt Santos had a two-run homer and Kaleb Foster a solo home run to help the Tigers build a 7-1 lead. Foster also hit a solo home run in the sixth inning that brought the Tigers to within 3-2 in game one.
Game one featured a pitching duel between the aces of their respective teams — Johnson and Thomas Sertic of Reed — who turned in complete game five-hitters. Sertic had 13 strikeouts. For Johnson (6-4 this season), it was his third one-run loss.
“Kyle pitched well enough to win,” Jacobsen said of the senior right-hander. “Anytime you limit a team to five hits, you’ve done a good job, especially against a good hitting team like Reed. We just weren’t able to give him enough run support.”
Coming into Saturday, the Raiders had scored in double digits in seven of their last 10 games
Note: The region tournament is scheduled to start on Tuesday and continue through May 17. Should Douglas remain as the No. 6 seed after Wednesday and Thursday, the Tigers would travel to the No. 3 seed for a 4 p.m. game on Tuesday. Action will shift to the University of Nevada’s Peccole Park on May 15, with the finals scheduled to start at noon on May 17.