James Hubbard deals during Douglas High's regional opener against Galena Monday night. Hubbard threw a complete game with nine strikeouts for the Tigers.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
James Hubbard was on Monday night as Douglas High School baseball downed Galena, 5-3, in the first game of the 2021 Class 5A Northern Nevada regional tournament.
The junior pitcher surrender three runs in the third inning, but got picked up by hos offense in the next frame and settled in to finish off a complete-game outing.
Head coach Ryan Gonzalez said Hubbard is as hot as any arm in the Douglas bullpen, but with nine strikeouts on the evening, his manager wasn’t short on praise.
“That was a heck of a outing right there,” said Gonzalez. “We couldn’t have gone with anyone better than James Hubbard tonight. Best game of his career so far.”
Hubbard opened regional play by fanning the first three Galena batters in faced.
After giving up the three runs in the third, Hubbard allowed two hits the rest of the way without letting another Grizzly batter get past second base.
The win sets up No. 8 Douglas (4-14) with a shot to knock off the top dog, in No. 1 Reno Tuesday evening (tomorrow) at 4 p.m. at Reno High.
“Knowing that if we won, we played at Reno didn’t matter,” said Gonzalez. “We played clean baseball, no errors, … and I thought we had some great at-bats that gave us a chance today.”
Offense comes through when needed
After Hubbard struck out the side to open the game, the Tiger offense quickly rallied behind the junior hurler.
Gabe Natividad drew a leadoff walk in the first, before getting knocked in by first baseman Matt Goff, who singled into the outfield.
Goff – who recently signed to continue playing baseball at the College of San Mateo – drove in another run with an RBI single in the third inning, finishing the game 3-for-4.
“He’s pretty much been starting since his freshman year, so his experience is second to none,” said Gonzalez.
The rally in the third began with three consecutive singles from Chris Thacker, Carson Hill and Goff.
Back-to-back walks allowed another Tiger run to come home, giving Gabe Foster an RBI.
Luke Ackermann followed suit with a sacrifice fly that took Galena 3-1 lead in the top of the third and swung it back in favor of the Tigers, 4-3, by the end of the frame.
Foster also crossed the plate as the final insurance run for Douglas in the fifth after an RBI single from Natividad.
“In a playoff atmosphere, every run is amplified. We know if we continue to attack, it’s contagious,” said Gonzalez.
With the Northern Nevada baseball regional tournament being double elimination, win or lose Tuesday at Reno, Douglas will have another contest Wednesday at 4 p.m.