Grizzlies edge Tigers

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MINDEN -- Galena scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie and defeat Douglas Friday afternoon in a preseason tournament game between teams that expect to contend for the playoffs this season.

Brandon Evans pitched six solid innings to pick up the win for the Grizzlies, with relief help from Chris Vlasek in the bottom of the seventh.

Douglas had three hits in the seventh before Vlasek worked out of the jam, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly to left field by Austin Graham. The game ended when Tommy Hoyle flied out to center field with two runners aboard. Hoyle's two-run homer in the sixth had tied the score at 5-all.

Luke Penrose singled to open Galena's seventh inning rally. Vlasek was hit by a pitch and Warren Whitley reached on an error. Chuck Sindlinger doubled and Byron Cragg singled a run home to cap the rally.

Darren Murren pitched effectively for the Tigers before giving way to Hoyle in the sixth.

"Darren threw well. This was a good test for him. He threw well enough, it was just a matter of us making some plays," Douglas coach Hal Wheeler said after the Tigers' season opener.

"We kicked some balls around in critical situations. We still have a long ways to go, but we're going to be OK. It was good for us to open against a team like Galena. They're a real quality and well coached ball club."

Don't be surprised if these teams don't see each other again in May at the Northern 4A Regional Tournament.

"I don't know about that," first-year Galena coach Gary McNamara said. "We have a brand new coaching staff and there's been a lot of changes. We've asked a lot out of these kids so far, but they've responded very well so far.

"I really like this Douglas team. I know they were missing some kids today, so they're going to be there at the end," added McNamara, who was an assistant on the University of Nevada coaching staff last year.

Douglas played without three regulars: Erik Olson (sprained Achilles tendon) at first base, pitcher Matt Jacobsen (recovering from a broken leg) and shortstop Shane Cauley (not enough practices).

Wheeler wouldn't object to playing the Grizzlies again at the regionals.

"We want to see them again in the tournament when we're at full bore," Wheeler said. "I think we'll be there with them."

The Tigers resume action in the preseason tournament today with a 9 a.m. contest on their home field against Fallon, followed by a noon game against Sparks. Galena also plays Fallon at noon at Douglas High.

Galena defeated Sparks 15-2 in an earlier game on Friday.


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