Tigers stay alive with win vs. Reed

As the Douglas baseball team gathered in front of its dugout down 8-3 midway through the third inning Wednesday afternoon at Reno High School, one couldn't help but sense the season was ebbing away in a hurry.

The Tigers had just fallen victim to a huge inning from the Reed offense, thanks to a booming grand slam off the bat of Raider slugger Tony Maldonado.

"At that point it was just a matter of putting up a number," Douglas coach John Glover said. "One or two, just chip away at it."

And just like that, things started to turn around.

Douglas manufactured on run on three singles, got a second run on a sacrifice and yet one more on a double down the first baseline. And then the floodgates opened. The Tigers ended up bringing 10 runs across in the third inning, including five with two outs, to propel themselves to a 19-9 win over Reed.

"We swung the bats pretty well and that was something new and nice to see," Glover said. "There was no way we could've expected 10 runs there. We were just trying to get another run back and stay in the ballgame."

The win ended Reed's season and gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope heading into the second half of the Northern 4A Regional tournament.

The Tigers closed out the game in the fifth with the 10-run mercy rule, meaning they only had to use pitcher Nate Whalin for four innings and reliever Brandon Bernard for one at-bat, keeping the remainder of the Tiger staff fresh.

"Nate struggled a bit, gave up some runs and hits but he kept us where we needed to be," Glover said. "Brandon came in and got a big groundball double play to get us out of trouble. Now we have our whole pen left and (freshman starter) Tyler May tomorrow."

Coming off a tough loss to Galena the night before, the Tigers fell back 2-1 early before tying the game up at three in the second. Reed exploded for five runs in the top of the third before Douglas came back with its gamebreaker.

Jordan Hadlock led the inning off with a single up the middle. Ryan Laing singled and Whalin singled to score Hadlock.

Roman Davis sacrificed Laing home and Phil Mannelly doubled to score Whalin.

May drew a walk and Mannelly scored on a passed ball with Cory Eilers up to bat.

Ryan Pruitt then singled to left, tying the game up as May scored.

Reed then pulled starter Kyle Walters in favor of Robbie Huelga with two outs and one on but Douglas rallied for five more runs before Reed could get out of the frame.

Davis went 2-for-2 with four RBIs, Whalin went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, D.J. Brady drove in three runs, Laing went 3-for-3 with a triple and Hadlock, Mannelly, May, Eilers and Pruitt each drove in one run.

"We are just in that mindset now of if we lose, we go home," Glover said. "You have to battle here.

In the opening round Tuesday, Douglas got off to a strong start in the first inning and hung with No. 2 Galena before the Grizzlies pulled away late with a 9-4 win at Reno High School.

"That was a tough one to lose," Glover said. "We were in that ball game the whole way. All of us believed we had a legitimate chance of winning that game. They were down but they bounced back (against Reed) which was good to see."

Against Galena, Douglas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Hadlock blasted a solo home run and Galena committed a series of errors.

Brady managed to keep a tight reign on the powerful Galena bats early on, allowing two runs in the second inning but otherwise shutting the Grizzlies down through the opening four innings.

Galena tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth as pitcher Tony Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Justin Norvick from third. J.D. Peters later scored on a Basim Azzam single and Craig Tanaka grounded into a fielder's choice to score Eric Maupin. Galena came out of the inning with a 5-3 lead.

Douglas put together a promising opportunity in the top of the sixth as Davis, who finished the game 4-for-4, led off with a single down the first baseline.

Mannelly reached on an error in which the Galena leftfielder dropped a well-hit line drive, setting the Tigers up with two on and no outs.

Two fielder's choices advanced Mannelly to third, but Thompson recorded one of his seven strikeouts on the afternoon to end the threat.

The Grizzlies broke the game open in the bottom of the frame, getting a two-run home run from J.D. Peters and an RBI single from Maupin. Matt Evans scored on a passed ball in the inning as well.

Douglas came back in the top of the seventh as Brady hit a ball that bounced at the warning track and over the fence in the left field corner to open the inning on second.

Hadlock singled to score Brady with the heart of the Tigers' lineup coming up but a foul out, a strikeout and a ground out to the pitcher ended the game.

Brady finished the game with two doubles.

Douglas took on either Reno or Galena Thursday afternoon, but the game was played after the R-C's press time. Results will be in Sunday's R-C.

-- Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.


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