Raiders hand Tigers 2 losses |

Raiders hand Tigers 2 losses

by Chuck Smock

Douglas baseball coach Lars Baker said his team needed to win both games of a doubleheader at Reed High on Saturday if the Tigers wanted to stay in the chase for the conference title.

Douglas was 6-2 heading into Saturday’s games. Reed was 4-5.

But the Raiders were able to deliver the key hits at crucial times and pulled off the two-game sweep of the Tigers. Reed won the first game, 11-1, and rallied to win the second, 8-7.

“Reed swung the bat really, really well,” Baker said. “They hit a ton of line drives.

“The mood was pretty somber (after the second game). That’s the first time we’ve been swept since (McQueen’s) Chris Aguilla threw a one-hitter and hit four home runs against us in 1997.”

And now the Tigers (6-4) will have to adjust their goals. Reno improved to 10-0 over the weekend. The Huskies show no signs that they’ll lose four games this season, Baker said. The senior-laden Douglas squad now must set its sights on earning the highest possible seed in the zone tournament – preferably a top four position, which includes home-team status in the first round and a matchup with a team that likely will be under .500.

The next phase of the season starts Thursday, when Douglas plays host to Carson.

“I feel good,” Baker said. “Our performance against Reed wasn’t that bad. A couple of timely hits and we get our usual Saturday split.”

Douglas led 4-1 in the second game, but squandered a bases-loaded, one-out situation that could have blown the game open.

The Tigers trailed, 8-5, going into the bottom of the seventh. They scored two runs, but left two runners on base.

Baker said there were a couple of bright spots for his team in the second game.

Junior Rich French played second base and was 2-for-4 at the plate. And junior Chris Murray was 3-for-4 and played left field.

The Douglas coach said he is tracking a new statistic: ball-in-play average. French and Murray are both perfect putting the ball in play this season. Murray is 11-for-11 and French is 5-for-5.

“As a team, we need to focus on getting the ball in play, especially with runners on second and third base,” Baker said.