MINDEN — All game long, Saturday morning, the Douglas baseball team had been looking for a shot in the arm.
In the end, the Tigers ended up getting it.
With the game tied at 2 and runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Douglas catcher Kaleb Foster belted a sharp foul ball square into the left elbow of Tiger cleanup hitter Nolan Weintz, who was standing in Douglas’ on-deck circle. Weintz retreated to the dugout and applied an ice pack to the elbow while Foster worked a four-pitch at-bat into a single to load the bases with one out.
That single chased Reed starter Thomas Sertic, who had been superb through 6.1 innings, and the pitching change gave Weintz time to regain his grip on the bat.
Weintz then stepped to the plate, fought through several pitches and belted a 2-2 pitch into the left-center gap for the game-winning hit.
Douglas pocketed the 3-2 win, but fell in the nightcap 10-3 as their record bumped to 17-12 overall and 11-9 in Northern Division I play with only a two-game series with Carson remaining.
“Offensively, it was tough to start, that’s a fact,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “But we got the big hits when we needed them. We got it back to the top of the lineup and the kids just got it done.”
Trailing 2-1, Cody Carter led the bottom of the seventh off with a big double to right-center. That brought leadoff man Dusty Fisher to the plate and he doubled as well, bringing Carter around for the tying run. Chase White grounded into an apparent fielder’s choice to the left side of the infield but Fisher held the throw up by leading several steps off of second base before retreating in time for White to reach first safely. That brought Foster up, who lined the first pitch he saw straight off Weintz’s arm.
“He had a good-sized knot where it hit,” Jacobsen said. “We gilt Teddy Mason up and ready to go in case Nolan couldn’t go. We were lucky to get the pitching change right then. I got to talk with Nolan and he said he was fine. He’s our No. 4 hitter, so obviously we want him up if he can go.”
Weintz said it was a matter of believing the pain would subside.
“I grabbed my bat at first and didn’t have any grip strength,” Weintz said. “But every time I squeezed it, it came back a little more. I was just waiting for it to get better. I now getting hit with a ball always hurts worst right at the beginning. I was hoping it would cool down, and it did.”
Weintz took the first pitch for a ball, fouled the second off, took the third for a ball and took a called strike on the fourth pitch. Weintz’s shot would have been good for a double, if not for the walk-off run.
The late-inning heroics nearly overshadowed a very strong outing on the mound from junior Kyle Johnson.
Johnson, who picked up the save in a win over Reno on Thursday, started Saturday for Douglas and struck out six while walking three and scattering just two hits over seven innings of work.
Reed’s Sertic was equally strong on the mound, striking out three, walking one and allowing just six hits until the final inning.
Fisher, Foster and Weintz all went 2-for-4, Kynett was 2-for-2 and Joe Almeida and Carter each had one hit.
In Game 2, Douglas ran into Reed’s ace Mark Nowaczewski, who will pitch for the University of Nevada next season.
Nowaczewski kept a no-hitter going through three innings while the Raiders built a big lead.
Douglas scored a single run in the fourth, the fifth and the sixth but left the bases loaded in the sixth to end any comeback hopes.
“He (Nowaczewski) is a very good pitcher,” Jacobsen said. “It took our guys a while to adjust to him.”
Chase White finished with two hits to lead the Tigers while Fisher, Foster and Kynett each had a hit.
WNC GARNERS SPLIT
Western Nevada wrapped up a successful weekend by splitting Saturday’s Scenic West Athletic Conference doubleheader against third-place Snow College, at Edmonds Sports Complex.
WNC won the opener 7-3, but Snow rallied to grab a 9-7 win in the nightcap.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season with a four-game series at College of Southern Nevada on Friday and Saturday.
“It was a good weekend,” WNC coach Leah Wentworth said. “The girls are playing with a lot of confidence. There isn’t an inning where they don’t think they are going to win the game.”
In the opener, Carlee Beck won her second game of the series by scattering seven hits. She struck out one and walked two.
“She did a good job,” Wentworth said of Beck. “She kept us in the game. We stranded runners in every inning.”
WNC took 1-0 lead in the first on a double by Andi Lee, and upped the lead to 3-0 with two runs in the third thanks to a big hit by Sydney Darby, who drove in three runs on three hits.
The Wildcats took a 4-2 led after four innings of the second game, but Snow came back with a six-run sixth inning to grab an 8-4 lead, four of those runs coming on a grandslam by Sydney Buttler. WNC answered back with three runs on a two-run single by Darby and an RBI by Alisha Nielsen.
Snow padded the lead with a run in the seventh, but WNC was unable to answer.
“We had a chance,” Wentworth said. “We had two on and Darby up, but we couldn’t get the hit we needed.”
DAYTON BOYS ARE THIRD
YERINGTON — The Dayton High boys track team finished third and the girls were eighth at the 83rd annual Yerington Relays on Saturday.
Benji Ply and Joshua Koch were the only individual winners for the Dust Devil boys, winning the high jump at 5-10 and taking fourth in the pole vault at 12 feet. Koch won the shot at 49-1 1/2 and was second in the discus at 148-10.
Aaron Elissa was second in the 1600 at 4:39.06, Josh Joyner was third in the shot at 49-1 1/2, Dallon Mendoza was third in the high jump at 5-8. Austin Fletcher was fourth in the triple jump at 39-5.
The 3200 relay team of Phil Hevener, Elissa, Jaden Lynch and Skyler Rose was second in 8:55.18. The 400 relay quartet of Julio Meza, Fletcher, Mendoza and Skyler Berntson was fifth in 46.49. The 800 relay team of Mendoza, Andrew Goodman, Berntson and Fletcher was fifth in 1:35.09.
Kaylee Turner led the Dayton girls with wins in the shot (35-4 3/4) and discus (110-5). Cheyanne Strong was third in the long jump at 14-6 1/4, fifth in the 100 hurdles (18.97) and sixth in the high jump (4-8). Alyse Fletcher was fourth in the long jump at 14-6 and fifth in the triple jump at 28-11.
CSN, WNC SPLIT
HENDERSON — The Coyotes and Wildcats split their doubleheader on Saturday. WNC won the opener 2-0 and lost the nightcap, 2-1, thus eliminating the local team from winning the regular-season crown.
The Wildcats, 19-13, are four games behind Salt lake in the win column and are in third place. Salt Lake is idle next week. CSN clinched the title and will host the post-season tournament.
WNC closes out the regular season next weekend when they host College of Southern Idaho on Friday and Saturday at noon each day.
“We’re playing for second, third or fourth,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said. “If we win four we finish second and if we win one we finish third.”
Christian Stolo threw a 2-hit shutout in the opener, going all seven innings. He struck out five and walked one en route to upping his record to 6-2. Thomas Pannone, 5-2, took the loss.
WNC scored one in the first when Cole Ferguson doubled home Stolo. WNC added another run in the fourth. Conor Harber and Stolo led WNC with two hits apiece.
In the nightcap, CSN scored one in the first off Luke Eubank and one in the fourth off Brandon Show for a 2-0 lead. Chevas Numata doubled home one run and the other scored on a wild pitch. WNC scored its only run in the fifth.
Harber singled twice for the Wildcats.