Thomas tames Tigers in league opener
March 15, 2017
A promising start went for naught Tuesday when the Douglas High baseball team failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the first inning during its Northern 4A conference-opening contest against McQueen.
As it turned out, scoring opportunities would be hard to come by against Austin Thomas, who pitched six solid innings to lead McQueen past Douglas 7-2 on a sunny afternoon at Tiger Field.
Meanwhile, the visiting Lancers scored five runs in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead in the first of a two-game series that ends Thursday afternoon on the Lancers' home field in Reno.
Thomas showed the form that brought him first-team all-region honors last year as he allowed three hits, two of which came in the sixth inning when the Tigers scored both of their runs. The senior left-hander, a fourth-year varsity veteran, retired 13 straight batters during one stretch between the second and sixth innings.
Spencer Trivitt hit 2-for-3 and scored one run for Douglas (0-1 conference, 3-3 overall). Jayden Foster delivered an RBI single and Isaiah Schat added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
A key sequence occurred in the first inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs. One runner was picked off base, then after the Tigers reloaded the bases on a hit batsman, Thomas escaped from the jam when he converted a comebacker into a 1-2-3 double play.
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Among the bright spots for Douglas was Jeremy Aleman, who came out of the bullpen to pitch 3.2 scoreless innings. The senior right-hander allowed two hits and retired eight batters on ground balls.
Aleman came on with two runners aboard and one out in the fourth inning then got out of the jam when Kindel Isham, Jayden Foster and Haydn Brown combined to turn a 4-6-3 double play.
Hunter Simpson absorbed the loss as he started on the mound and worked 3.1 innings.
The Lancers, who started eight returnees from last year, scored once in the second inning and extended their lead to 6-0 in the third. Joel Seth singled one run home, Thomas followed with a two-run double off the center field fence, Austin Majorsky singled another run home and Austin Parry hit an RBI double to highlight the five-run rally.
Nelson Padilla went 3-for-4 and stole two bases for the Lancers, who finished the game with 12 hits.
Thomas departed after the sixth inning, at which point he had thrown 92 pitches. Tyler Hartmann came on to pitch the seventh inning and retired three straight batters to close out the game.
Notes: This marked the second win for Thomas at Tiger Field in the last 11 months. Thomas pitched a complete game four-hitter for a 6-3 win on April 19, 2016 that helped the Lancers secure a playoff berth. … Douglas plays at home again Saturday with an 11 a.m. conference game against North Valleys.
The Douglas Tigers pushed across six runs in the second inning and added four more runs in the fourth to post an 11-5 conference win at home against McQueen on Tuesday.
Elijah Lyons hit an RBI double, while Evan Simpson, Calvin Doerr, Jonathan Antti, Elijah Hinojosa and Zak Korzenkiewski contributed singles to ignite the second inning rally.
Lyons went 3-for-3 and Hinojosa 3-for-4 to lead the Tigers' 16-hit offense. Doerr, Antti, Korzenkiewski and Simpson added two hits each. Camden Brown also contributed a double and one RBI.
Korzenkiewski pitched 2.2 innings of relief to earn credit for the win. He allowed two earned runs on five hits.