Tigers receive boost on the hill
Even in a losing cause on Thursday afternoon, Robert “Dion” Mortimer provided a big boost on the hill for the Douglas High baseball team.
Mortimer pitched four-hit ball over 6.1 innings, the longest outing by a Douglas starter so far this season, in a hard-luck 4-2 Northern Division I loss against Spanish Springs at Tiger Field.
Douglas (0-8 conference, 2-11 overall) scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and had the bases loaded when reliever Ricky Espinoza rang up a strikeout to close out the win for Spanish Springs (6-2, 7-3).
This marked the eighth straight loss for the Tigers, however, this was first time during the streak they hadn’t allowed double digit scoring. The Tigers lost 10-0 in five innings at Spanish Springs on Tuesday
Mortimer allowed three runs in the opening two innings, but settled down and kept Douglas in the game. The junior right-hander allowed four runs on four hits, two walks and six hit batsmen (three in the first inning).
Spanish Springs scored twice in the first inning — aided by three hit batsmen and Josh Prizina’s RBI single — but Mortimer left the bases loaded when he got a pop foul to third baseman Spencer Trivitt to end the inning.
“That’s as good a start as we’ve had all season,” Douglas coach John Glover said of Mortimer. “He got in some jams early, but he worked out of those. I was really proud of the way he overcame adversity and gave us something positive to take away from the game today. That’s something to build on for the whole (pitching) staff.”
Mortimer departed with one out and two runners aboard in the top of the seventh, however, Zach Davies came on to pitch in relief and struck out two straight batters to end the inning.
With the score still 4-0, the Tigers were still within striking distance. And they nearly pulled off a comeback in the bottom of the seventh.
Trivitt doubled down the left field line to lead off the rally. Haden Keller dropped a one-out single into short left field to put runners at the corners, at which point Espinoza came on to pitch in relief. Espinoza got the second out of the inning, then hit Kaleb Foster with a pitch to load the bases and Cale Kynett walked to drive one run home. Moments later, Davies hit a chopper toward third base that was misplayed for an error, allowing pinch runner Trevor Tierney to score and cut the deficit to 4-2.
Douglas finished the day with four hits. Nick Wilkinson and Tomas Leitenbauer singled in the third inning, only to see Spanish Springs starter Ryan Anderson retire the side on two outfield fly balls.
Prizina hit 2-for-4 to lead the Cougars offensively. Leadoff hitter Kyle Messer was hit by pitches in three of his four plate appearances and scored twice (first and second innings).
Douglas visits three-time defending region tournament champion Reno on Saturday then hosts the Huskies on April 7. The Tigers are scheduled to face Reed on April 10 in a 4 p.m. contest at Reno Aces Ballpark.