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Tigers baseball team is perfect in preseason tourney

by Chuck Smock

Douglas baseball coach Fred Bendure said his squad got exactly what it needed out of the Carson Preseason Tournament last week.

And finishing the tournament with a 5-0 record was a nice bonus, he added.

“We were trying to get our kids a lot of work,” Bendure said. “I think we have a good idea of what we have at this point.

“Most everybody got in and got a few at-bats. Our pitchers got to throw. We’re encouraged and excited to get going.”

The Tigers defeated Fernley, 6-0, Thursday at Carson. They beat Lovelock, 10-0, Friday morning at Douglas.

On Friday afternoon, the Tigers bombed White Pine, 14-0, in a game that was shortened to three innings by the mercy rule. Tommy Hoyle struck out eight of the nine batters he faced and didn’t allow a walk to earn the victory.

Austin Graham was three-for-three against White Pine. Shane Cauley was two-for-three with an inside-the-park home run, a triple and four RBI. Johnny Mannelly was two-for-two.

The Tigers gave up their first runs of the tournament on Saturday morning, but still managed to record a relatively easy 7-2 win against Battle Mountain. Douglas scored two runs in the first inning, two more in the second and three in the third.

Cauley led the nine-hit attack with a two-for-two performance that included a double and a single.

Andrew Sterling and Matt Jacobsen pitched the Tigers to victory. Sterling struck out four in three innings, while Jacobsen had two strikeouts in two innings.

The Tigers got their toughest test in the final game Saturday afternoon against Lowry.

Sean Gallian, who was one of the top pitchers in the North last season when the Buckaroos competed in the 4A Conference, challenged Douglas batters with a fastball that ranged from the low to mid-80s, according to Bendure.

Lowry led 5-3 before Cauley ripped an RBI triple and scored on the play when the Buckaroos made a wild throw to third base.

With the score tied, 5-5, Ryan Haltom singled and advanced to second base when Tyson Tiago executed a sacrifice bunt.

Adam Sheldon singled to put runners on the corners with two outs.

Bendure then called his “walk off” play, instructing Sheldon to get caught in a rundown between first base and second base long enough to allow Haltom to score from third base. The play worked to perfection when Haltom raced home and scored the game-winning run with a head-first slide.

Collin Muren went the distance against Lowry. He struck out five and walked three in five innings.

Jordan Ovard and Haltom each was two-for-two against the Buckaroos. Ovard had a triple and Haltom had a double. Sheldon went two-for-three.

The Tigers open league play with a home game against Carson Tuesday.

Douglas will play host to Fernley today at 3 p.m. in a nonleague game.