Douglas baseball splits opening two
The Douglas High School baseball team split its opening two games of the season Thursday afternoon at Reed High School and was just a base hit away from making it a clean sweep on the opening day of the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament.
The Tigers blasted Spanish Springs 15-1 in the season opener behind a strong varsity debut from sophomore Wyatt Graham on the mound and dropped a 4-3 decision to Reed in the second game of the day after loading the bases with two outs in the seventh inning.
Against Spanish Springs, Jordan Hadlock led off the season with a home run for the Tigers and proceeded to go 4-for-4 for the game with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Nate Whalin went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Brandon Bernard and Tim Rudnick each drove in one.
Graham pitched all five innings of the mercy-rule-shortened game and struck out four, walked three and allowed no earned runs in his first outing.
Against Reed, Douglas jumped out to an early lead after Hadlock, who led off the game for Douglas with a triple to deep center, and Whalin, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, scored on a fielding error by the Reed middle infielders.
Whalin was attempting to steal second, but the when Reed’s catcher made the throw, no one had moved into position to cover the base and the ball sailed into center field, allowing both runners to score.
Douglas held on to the two-run lead through two innings before the Raiders were able to bring one across in the third and two in the fourth.
All four runs were credited to Whalin, who took the loss on the mound despite striking out three in three and one-third innings.
Pat Lahlum came on in relief for Whalin, and was strong through two innings, striking out four and walking none.
Bernard retired the Raiders in the top of the seventh after loading the bases on a single and two intentional walks, giving Douglas one last chance to close the 4-2 gap (Although the game was at Reed, Douglas was the designated home team).
Bernard led the inning off and reached on an error at short. A fly ball and a fielder’s choice left Douglas with just Hadlock on base and two outs.
Center fielder Niko Saladis looped a single into shallow right and he and Hadlock advanced to second and third respectively on a passed ball.
Phil Mannelly then drew a walk to load the bases with two outs and Whalin then drove Hadlock home on what appeared would be a game-inning fielder’s choice, but Saladis beat the fielder to third.
Douglas’ hopes of a comeback win were quickly dashed however as a flyout to left on a 2-1 count ended the game.
Saladis went 2-for-4 to lead the Tigers (1-1) at the plate and Whalin’s RBI was Douglas’ lone earned run of the game.