MINDEN — Badly in need of a win, the Douglas baseball team came up with one of its best games of the year Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers broke a seven-game losing streak by upending league-leading Reno High School 8-5.
To get there, Douglas put together a complete team effort, getting solid pitching, strong defense and clutch hitting as it improved to 16-11 overall and 10-8 in league play.
“You’re happy any time you can break an extended streak like that,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “Reno is a tough team, they came to play. They’ve been at the top of their game for 15 years now, so to come out and play hard against them was really good to see.”
The Huskies had handed Douglas its worse loss of the season (14-2) on Tuesday.
“We kind of had a recommitment from everyone the last couple of days,” Jacobsen said. “We started the season playing really well, but as we hit that second half of the league schedule, it’d gotten real tough.
“We weren’t hitting the ball that well, we weren’t getting any breaks. The guys got together yesterday and just got back to believing in each other and refusing to lose. We kind of lost that for about two and a half weeks there. If we can start playing our best baseball right now, that’s when you want it to happen.”
Douglas senior Nolan Weintz pitched five strong innings to help stake Douglas to a tight 5-4 lead.
Reno managed to load the bases with one out in the top of the sixth, though, and junior Kyle Johnson came on to attempt to get out of the jam.
Johnson induced Brock Tsukamoto into a soft ground ball in front of the mound. Johnson fed the ball back into catcher Kaleb Foster for the force at home and Foster fired the ball to first to complete the inning-ending double play.
Douglas then scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Weintz led the inning off with a double and Joe Almeida later singled him home. Cody Carter delivered a two-out single to score Cale Kynett and Dusty Fisher followed with a single to bring Almeida home.
Weintz and Kaleb Foster each homered and drove in two runs and Kynett accounted for another RBI for the Tigers.
“We got the big hits today,” Jacobsen said. “Up and down the lineup, Dusty Fisher, Nolan Weintz, Kaleb Foster, Joe Almedia — guys were stepping up when we needed them.
“That sixth inning was huge for us. Getting out of the jam when we needed to and then bringing those three runs across. That makes a big different in the game. I was really happy for Nolan too, he has been pitching so well for us and we haven’t gotten him the run support. He lost 3-2 and then 2-1, it was good to see him get the win today.”
Douglas hosts Reed in a doubleheader Saturday and then takes on Carson next week to close out the regular season.
“There is a lot of baseball left,” Jacobsen said. “All the top rivals are playing each next week. Us and Carson, Manogue and Reno, Spanish Springs and Reed and so on. Those are a to of teams battling for seeding, so we expect to see a lot of movement next week. Nothing is set yet. We just want to take today and build on it.”
DOUGLAS 3, NORTH
MINDEN — The Douglas softball team got past North Valleys 3-2 Thursday afternoon.
Douglas’ Leonna Mortimer hit a solo home run in the second inning but North Valleys answered with two in the top of the third.
Douglas’ Kelly Sonnemann rounded the bases to tie the game after North Valleys’ center fielder dove and missed a line drive into center with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Shaena Robinson ran for Kaitlyn Bowman, who’d drawn a two-out walk, and Makayla Shaver belted a triple to drive Robinson in for the game-winning run.
Bowman struck out two and walked two, scattering six hits in the win.
Illiana Brown and Katie Chieffo both singled for the Tigers.