Douglas baseball team advances to regional title game |

Douglas baseball team advances to regional title game

by Joey Crandall

Every player of the Douglas baseball team’s roster scored at least one run as the Tigers stomped Reed 15-5 in Minden Thursday afternoon to advance to the Northern 4A Regional championship game.

It marked the third consecutive game that Douglas scored more than 10 runs and the second game in row that the Tigers won by more than 10 runs.

“You always hope that (the regional championship) is where you’ll be,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “The kids have to be playing well, and we’ve have a good three games. We put ourselves in a spot that we want be in.”

Douglas will take on the winner of Carson-Galena Saturday at 1 p.m. at Tiger Field.

“We get to play here, we’re excited about that,” Glover said. “I know they’ll play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”

Phil Mannelly and Cory Eilers each drove in three runs and Niko Saladis and Tim Rudnick each went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Tigers offensively.

Tyler May picked up the win on the mound, striking out four and throwing four scoreless innings before allowing a five-run outburst in the fifth after the game was well in hand.

Douglas carried a 14-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth and Saladis led off with a single to shallow center. He later stole second, but thought that the pitch had been foul tipped by Cory Eilers.

He started trotting back to first, but bolted back to second when he realized his mistake. Reed’s catcher, C.J. Maldonado attempted to throw Saladis out, but the ball sailed into center field.

Saladis advanced to third and came around to score to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.

“That was pretty crazy,” Glover said. “Niko just thought it was a foul tip and he headed back to first. Then all hell broke loose.”

Douglas jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Saladis drew a bases-loaded walk to score Rudnick and Mannelly blistered a triple to center to clear the bases.

The Tigers extended the lead with seven runs in the third, highlighted by a three-run home run from Cory Eilers.

Reed stayed alive in the top of the fifth, getting an RBI single from Casey Yocom and a three-run home run from Matt Moerdick.

Douglas brought three runs across in the bottom of the frame, and took then win on Saladis’ run in the bottom of the sixth.

Saladis finished with two RBIs and Jordan Hadlock, Ryan Pruitt, Rudnick and May each drove in one run.

“We’re excited for Saturday,” Glover said. “We’re senior-laden. I think they are hungry.

“Whoever comes out of the other bracket is going to be a good team. The kids have been pretty steady all year. The highs haven’t been too high and the lows haven’t been that low. The seniors have been in this type of stuff before, It’ll be fun.”

May 10: DOUGLAS 15, REED 5 at Douglas

Reed 000 050 – 5 8 3

Douglas 047 031 – 15 13 0

May and Hadlock. WP: May. SO: May 4. BB: May 2.

Douglas hitting: Saladis 3-3, Mannelly 2-4, Eilers 2-4, Whalin 1-3, Pruitt 1-3, Rudnick 3-3, May 1-1. 2B: Whalin 1. 3B: Mannelly. HR: Eilers 1. RBI: Mannelly 3, Eilers 3, Saladis 2, Hadlock 1, Pruitt 1, Rudnick 1, May 1.

Record:25-11 overall.