Douglas tops South Tahoe in opener
Tomas Leitenbauer supplied the spark with a first-inning triple and Hunter Simpson went on to pitch one-hit ball Thursday afternoon for the Douglas High baseball team in its 14-1 season-opening victory at home against South Tahoe.
Simpson was one out away from a no-hitter before he gave up an RBI single in the fifth inning on a windy and cold day that marked the start of the Mike Bearman Memorial Preseason Tournament. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule as Marc Walling picked up a win in his debut as head coach of the Douglas program.
“That was a great outing,” Walling said of Simpson. “He was able to control his pitches and showed good composure under pretty tough conditions.”
Simpson only allowed four base runners, two on walks and another on an infield error. The junior right-hander had six strikeouts.
Douglas took a 2-0 first inning lead, the key hit coming when Leitenbauer laced a one-out line drive down the left field line for a triple. He scored moments later when Spencer Trivitt hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle for a single. Trivitt later scored on Isaiah Schat’s sacrifice fly.
“I thought Tomas hitting that triple got the tempo going for us. After that, all the guys were squaring off pretty good,” Walling said.
“Offensively, I thought everybody did a good job … it was a great team win.”
Nine players reached the hit column for the Tigers, who broke the game wide open with a seven-run fourth inning. Hadyn Brown and Jayden Foster both hit 2-for-3 with one RBI. Logan Fencl went 1-for-2 with three RBI, including a two-run double in the fourth and a sacrifice fly. Trivitt was also 1-for-3 with two RBI, Haden Keller 1-for-3 with an RBI double and Trevor Tierney 1-for-1 with an RBI double.
South Tahoe nearly collected its first hit when Paul Hoefer hit a grounder up the middle to lead off the fourth inning. But Foster, a sophomore shortstop, cut the ball off at second base and threw a strike to Brown at first base for the putout. Shortly after that, Foster fielded a Chris Pfister grounder in the hole and made a long throw to get the final out of the inning.
The Vikings scored in the fifth inning when Josh Sullivan drew a one-out walk and came around to score when sophomore Tyler Wattanachinda hit a sharp chopper past third base.
Douglas continues its preseason tournament schedule on Friday with an 11 a.m. game against Central Catholic (Modesto, Calif.) at Carson High School, followed by a 4 p.m. game against Wooster in Reno.