Baseball: Douglas gets by Reed in first round of playoffs

As far as senior farewells go, Douglas' Jordan Hadlock had a pretty darn good one Tuesday afternoon at Tiger field in Minden.

The four-year starter led off the final home game of his senior year with a home run to deep right-center to help propel the Tigers to a 6-5 win over Reed in the first round of the Northern 4A Regional Playoffs.

"This was a big win for us," Hadlock said. "It's a weird feeling being done at home. I just wanted to start the game off by trying to break (Reed starter Derek) Williford out of his rhythm, because starting pitchers want to find that rhythm early, and it helped to get a home run."

Douglas junior Tanner Thomas followed Hadlock with a monster shot that bounced high off the scoreboard in center field to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.

"That was a pretty incredible hit," Hadlock said of Thomas' home run. "Going back-to-back like that to open the game was big."

Reed scratched back into the game, however, using a four-run fifth to take a brief 5-4 lead. Douglas came back in the bottom half with two more runs and held on for the win from there.

Tiger starter Tyler Hoelzen went the distance on the mound, shutting the door on the Raiders in the seventh after Reed slugger C.J. Maldonado reached on an error to lead off the inning and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt.

"These close games, I'm just not used to it," Douglas coach John Glover said. "I'm about 50 years older than I should be at this point, but it makes it interesting and it's what you expect in playoff baseball.

"The Reed kids battled their hearts out and played a good game and in the playoffs you don't expect anything less. They had a chance to win it late there, but we managed to shut it down."

After losing two close games against Reno to close out the regular season, the Tigers took the late-game drama completely in stride.

"With the Reno series last week, it kind of tested us and prepared us for these types of ball games," Hadlock said. "We weren't nervous there late with the runner in scoring position. Tyler just threw strikes and he bore down and did a good job."

For the game, Hoelzen struck out seven and walked none, hitting two batsmen. Outside of the blip in the four-hit fifth inning, he allowed only two other hits.

"He just battles out there and throws strikes," Glover said. "He found a zone and did a good job of focusing."

Most notably, Maldonado, who hit two home runs against Douglas in the first round last year, went without a hit on the day.

"Our approach was pretty simple with him," Glover said. "We just wanted to get the ball over the plate and pray he doesn't hit it out of the yard. He's one of the best high school hitters we've seen and it worked out today."

Douglas also got some good news as junior Tyler May returned to the lineup for the first time since dislocating his shoulder in a non-league game against McQueen nearly a month ago.

He went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in his return.

"He just got his medical release back today," Glover said. "I know he's excited. He's had some long weeks just itching to get in there. He's an important part of this team and we're excited to have him back."

Douglas also got a pair of hits from Thomas and Jeff Crozier.

After falling back 5-4 in the fifth, Douglas came right back as Tim Rudnick led off the bottom half with a single and Hoelzen doubled off the right-center fence to move Rudnick to third.

Troy Torres hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Rudnick and move Hoelzen to third and Hoelzen scored an out later on a May single.

"This was important, the first game is always a big one," Glover said.

Douglas will take on the winner of Manogue-Damonte Ranch at Manogue Wednesday at 4 p.m.


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