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Douglas splits Friday doubleheader

Tigers split Friday doubleheader; travel to Reed Saturday afternoon

By Carter Eckl ceckl@recordcourier.com

Carson 4, Douglas 3

The first of three scheduled meetings between Carson and Douglas this season went the way of the Senators Friday night in dramatic fashion.

Carson held serve on its home field with a 4-3 walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Tigers rallied to come from behind in the fifth.

Trey Thomas delivered the final blow with an RBI double to seal it for Carson, but Douglas couldn’t have asked for a much closer first meeting between the two squads.

The Tigers trailed 2-0 in the third inning, but started the fresh frame by putting two runners on with no outs.

On a squeeze bunt, Carson starting pitcher Jade Stotts was able to flip the ball to his catcher to tag out Gabe Natividad at the plate before the Senators turned a double play to escape the inning.

Douglas allowed another run in the fourth to fall behind 3-0, but the Tigers’ bats came alive in the fifth.

Wyatt Grisell started the fifth with a walk before being driven home on an Eli Lyons RBI double that traveled to the right-center field wall.

Adam Garren followed with an RBI single of his own before Douglas’ starting pitcher Matt Goff helped out his own cause with an RBI sacrifice fly.

“Every inning I felt like we were going to put a crooked number up,” said Douglas head coach Ryan Gonzalez. “We didn’t execute a couple things, but I’m going to keep trusting our guys in every moment.”

Natividad took over on the bump for Goff in the fifth inning and retired six consecutive Senator hitters before Carson was able to walk things off.

“We just got to be prepared. That’s what I told our guys is we didn’t prepare well enough,” said Gonzalez of the Douglas’ second game of the day. “We got to come out fired up. … I think we were too passive.”

With two more meetings to go, both coaches feel this is just the beginning of tight battles between the two teams all season.

“Really good baseball played today,” said Carson head coach Bryan Manoukian. “Douglas and Carson are really evenly matched. That game could have gone either way. … It’s why it’s the best rivalry in the state.”

Douglas 9, Truckee 3

Douglas opened the day with a convincing 9-3 win over Truckee on Carson’s Ron McNutt field.

The Tigers put up two runs in the first, another in the second and two more in the third to catapult themselves out to a 5-0 lead after three innings of play.

Truckee posted three runs in the next two frames, but the Tigers closed the door in the bottom of the fifth inning.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Chris Thacker was able to come home for a run before Tyler Rudd cranked a double to left field, knocking in Zakary Korzeniewski and Evan Simpson.

“Seeing that was really positive,” said Gonzalez of Rudd’s two-run double.

A couple at-bats later, Luke Ackermann singled in Grisell to give the Tigers’ their 9-3 lead.

Gage Hoyle started the contest on the mound for the Tigers; striking out four in four innings of work to pick up his first win on the season. Lyons and Justin Soto came on in relief and combined to punch out three Wolverine hitters in the final three innings of work.

Goff and Camden Brown drove in two runs as well for Douglas in the win.

“I think we were more selective in what we were going up there to hit and hunt,” said Gonzalez after the Tigers drew nine walks over the course of the win. “We were hunting for a good pitch and not offering at the off speed.”

UP NEXT: The Tigers (1-2) travel to Reed (3-0) Saturday afternoon for another tilt to finish off the weekend.