Baseball, softball teams enter with same record | RecordCourier.com

Baseball, softball teams enter with same record

by Joey Crandall

They both sport the same league records and nearly identical overall records on the year, but the Douglas High baseball and softball squads are entering the regional playoffs on very different notes.

The baseball team (22-11 overall, 15-6 league), freshly crowned Sierra League champs, finds itself looking to get back on track after losing five of its last seven games of the season.

By virtue of what it was able to accomplish earlier in the year, however, and a big assist from Carson’s win over Damonte Ranch Friday, the Tigers have locked up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The softball team (22-10, 15-6), on the other hand, enters the regional tournament as one of the hottest teams in the north despite carrying only a No. 3 seed.

The Lady Tigers are winners of 12 of their last 15 games, a stretch during which they outscored their opponents 109-47.

On the baseball side, Douglas is bracketed with Reed, Damonte Ranch and McQueen, having taken on Reed in the first round Tuesday afternoon. The results of the opener will be online at http://www.recordcourier.com and in Friday’s edition.

The Tigers have beaten McQueen and Damonte earlier in the year and fell short in the last inning against Reed twice this season.

Douglas will certainly throw its three starters, Tyler May (5-1, 27K), Nate Whalin (5-2, 31K) and Wyatt Graham (5-4, 34K) at some point during the week, but the Tigers boast one of their deepest bullpens in years with Pat Lahlum (2-0, 1 SV, 16K) and Jordan Hadlock (1-0, 2 SV, 16K) acting as their top relievers.

Sophomores Troy Torres (2-0) and Tyler Hoelzen are sure to see time on the mound, as will Adam Burnside and Severin Nobriga.

For good measure, Cory Eilers and Brandon Bernard have each thrown this season as well, giving Douglas 11 options at pitcher.

Offensively, Douglas is about as balanced as it comes with Hadlock (4 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 20 RBI), Niko Saladis (5 2B, 1 3B, 19 RBI), Phil Mannelly (8 2B, 3 HR, 25 RBI), Eilers (8 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 26 RBI), Whalin (8 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 25 RBI), Ryan Pruitt (6 2B, 3 HR, 19 RBI) and Willie Morgan (5 2B, 2 3B, 24 RBI) making up the solid top seven spots of the lineup.

May (6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI), Bernard (1 2B, 12 RBI) and Tim Rudnick (8 RBI) have platooned the final two spots with relative effectiveness.

If nothing else, expect some offensive fireworks as Douglas has scored 130 runs in 13 games at home this season while compiling an 11-2 record at home. The Tigers have been held under double-digits at home five times in 13 tries and have been held under five runs at home only once.

On the softball side, Douglas also opens up against Reed, only on Thursday at noon at Carson High School, where the entirety of the tournament will be held.

A win in the opener would most likely put the Tigers up against Sierra League champ Reno and a loss would most likely put Douglas up against Elko.

Douglas’ Stephanie Harper will handle the bulk of the pitching duties and has a 21-7 record on the year with 112 strikeouts and 64 walks in 31 appearances.

The Tigers will be led offensively by Lauren Hoppe (13 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 41 RBI), Emily Weaver (6 2B, 6 3B, 31 RBI). Tisha Luken (4 2B, 21 RBI), Katrina Morgan (4 2B, 2 3B, 15 RBI) and Harper (3 2B, 12 RBI).

Mackenzie Cauley came on strong late in the season, finishing with 14 RBIs, and Morgan Barone has knocked in 10 RBI on the year.

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