Baseball: Tigers fall short in playoff pitching duel
Douglas senior pitcher Nolan Weintz would probably be just fine if he never had to see Spanish Springs again.
Weintz was the hard-luck loser in 3-2 and 2-1 losses at Spanish Springs earlier this season. In the first round of the regional playoffs Tuesday afternoon, Weintz once again pitched a stellar game, but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 nail biter against the Cougars at Wooster High School.
“He went 21 innings against Spanish Springs this year and gave up six runs,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “Spanish Springs is a great team, and he was outstanding against them each time. He’s thrown great for us all year and he turned it up a notch for the playoffs.
“He just threw fantastic, but we just aren’t going to win games when we don’t score. He deserved to win today.”
Douglas will travel to Reed Wednesday, at 4 p.m., in an elimination game.
“Now we’re in a situation of send people home or get sent home,” Jacobsen said. “We’ve got six great seniors and our focus now is on getting them another game.”
On Tuesday, Spanish Springs got then game’s lone run when ace pitch Nick Audenried led the bottom of the fifth off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball.
The Cougars squeezed him across on the following play for the winning run.
“That was it,” Jacobsen said. “It’s a matter where we as coaches should have seen it coming and we were kicking ourselves afterward. Bottom line is Spanish Springs executed when they needed to.”
Audenried largely stumped the Tiger batters all afternoon, although Cody Carter made solid contact in his at-bats, singling an line drive off the pitcher that bounced back to the catcher, who threw Carter out.
Douglas’ best scoring opportunity came in the top of the second as Dillon Lopez led off with a base hit.
Cale Kynett followed with a double that bumped Lopez to third.
Joe Almeida then belted a ball down the left field line that would have scored two runs, but landed two feet foul.
The Cougars were able to end the threat from there.
“Audenried is one of the top guys in the league and he showed that today,” Jacobsen said. “It’s a tough game to lose, especially on the first day of the playoffs. We just have to find ways to come through and execute in those clutch situations.”
Douglas will roll out Kyle Johnson, who beat Reed earlier this season, on Wednesday to try to keep the season alive.