Seniors come through in clutch
NORTHERN 4A STANDINGS
Reno 18-3 .857 -
Sp. Springs 16-5 .762 2
Galena 15-6 .714 3
Manogue 12-9 .571 6
McQueen 12-9 .571 6
Damonte 11-10 .524 7
Carson 10-11 .476 8
Reed 10-11 .476 8
Wooster 10-11 .476 8
Douglas 9-12 .429 9
No. Valleys 3-18 .143 15
Hug 0-21 .000 18
Douglas 7, Carson 6
Galena 12, Damonte Ranch 11
Spanish Springs 6, Reed 2
Wooster 2, Bishop Manogue 0
Reno 8, McQueen 2
North Valleys 8, Hug 1
Douglas at Carson, 7 p.m.
Bishop Manogue at Wooster, 3:45 p.m.
Galena at Damonte Ranch, 3:45 p.m.
Spanish Springs at Reed, 3:45 p.m.
McQueen at Reno, 3:45 p.m.
North Valleys at Hug, 3:45 p.m.
A Northern 4A baseball playoff berth hung in the balance Wednesday afternoon when Douglas High seniors Kindel Isham, Riley Wilkinson and Isaiah Schat delivered clutch performances that helped the Tigers rally for a 7-6 walk-off win over Carson.
Schat pitched a scoreless seventh inning to preserve a 6-all tie and then Isham hit a seeing-eye infield single that brought Wilkinson home from second base to score the winning run with two outs in the bottom half of the inning at Tiger Field.
By winning the rivalry game, Douglas improved to 9-12 in conference (12-14 overall) and remained alive in its bid to qualify for the region tournament next week. The Tigers also improved their season record to 2-4 in walk-off decisions.
“This was a great win in a giant game for everyone,” said Isham, a third-year varsity veteran. “It was my last at-bat on this field … I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
Rightfully so. And it was only fitting that this Senior Day contest came down to a pair of veteran left-handers pitching against each other — Bryce Moyle for Carson and Schat.
After the Tigers scored once to tie the score in the sixth inning, Schat came on to pitch in the top of the seventh and retired three of the four batters he faced. Schat got a strikeout to start the inning, then after a walk, he rang up a called strike-three on a curveball. Haden Keller caught a fly ball in center field to retire the side.
In the bottom of the seventh, Wilkinson lined a single into center field and moved over to second base on a passed ball. Moyle set down the next two batters on strikeouts before Isham hit a chopper up the middle that dribbled between two infielders to drive home the game-winner.
“I’ve got to give Riley credit for getting into scoring position,” Isham said. “He (Moyle) threw a good pitch — it was a curveball — I just wanted to put it in play and make something happen.”
Isham also scored the tying run in the sixth. He was hit by a pitch, advanced on Jayden Foster’s sacrifice bunt and took third when Haydn Brown lined a single into right field. Moyle came on to pitch in relief of Kyle Glannzman and walked Tristan Futch to load the bases. Next up, Keller was hit by a pitch to force the run home.
Carson coach Bryan Manoukian decided to go for the playoff-clinching win when he brought in Carson’s ace pitcher to try and preserve a 6-5 lead.
“This is the time of year … you’re on the road and the game’s on the line … you go for it,” said Manoukian, whose Senators dropped into a three-way tie for seventh-place in the conference standings. “We had our best guy out there, they had their best guy out there, we just came up one run short.”
Douglas finished with 11 hits and also had five hit batsmen (Isham was hit three times). Trivitt, Simpson, Wilkinson and Brown contributed two hits each. Isham was 1-for-1 and scored three runs. All five are seniors.
The Senators had 13 hits, eight of which came in the opening three innings when they scored all six of their runs. Carson scored five times in the second inning to take a 6-4 lead.
Douglas took a 4-1 lead in the first inning, aided by a two-out infield hit from Futch and another by Spencer Trivitt that drove in the Tigers’ first run. Wilkinson brought another run home when he drew a bases loaded walk. Hunter Simpson, who has only seen a handful of at-bats this season due to tendinitis in his shoulder, ripped a line drive single into center field that plated two more runs.
Foster pitched 5.1 innings for Douglas before Brown came on in relief with one out and two runners aboard in the sixth.
Foster moved over to his normal position at shortstop and moments later he collaborated with Isham and first baseman Eddy Cabrera on a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“That’s the first double play Jayden and I have turned together all season,” Isham said. “We’ve played together the last two years, so we’re comfortable out there … and Jayden set it up just perfect.”
Futch ended Carson’s second inning rally when he threw out a runner attempting to steal second base. The junior was playing in his second straight full game at catcher in place of Trivitt, who is playing with a shoulder injury.