The Fernley baseball team got an outstanding effort on the mound from Brian Reeder and some timely hitting when it needed to stay alive in the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A State Championships in Mesquite.
Reeder kept Boulder City off balance and the Vaqueros rallied for two runs in the sixth inning for a 2-1 win on Friday. Fernley stayed alive after losing to Manogue 7-2 earlier in the day.
The Vaqueros will play Manogue at noon today and will need to beat the Miners twice for their second straight state title.
"Oh man, I don't know how to explain it," said Fernley coach Cory Sandberg, commenting on the effort from the left-handed Reeder.
Boulder City showed it was a fast ball hitting team when when it blasted Lowry's fastball pitchers in a 15-4 win. But Boulder City couldn't handle the off speed pitching of Cody Wagner and Reeder. Wagner beat Boulder City 5-2 on Thursday.
"He's very similar to Cody Wagner," said Sandberg about Reeder. "He threw a lot of off speed pitches.
"They're a fastball hitting team. I think our pitchers just mixed it up very well. There were a lot of pop flies and a lot of weak groundballs."
Reeder scattered five hits for the win. Fernley had just one hit - Matt Lambeth's infield single - going into the sixth. But that single came when Lambeth beat out a groundball to shortstop.
That played a key role in the sixth with two outs and no one on when Lambeth again grounded to the shortstop, who hurried his throw. Lambeth reached on a two-base error.
Tim Hines doubled to tie the score and speedy sophomore Danny Regalado pinch ran for Hines. Andy Rupley singled home Regalado to give Fernley the lead. The Vaqueros finished with just three hits.
Everything seemed to be going Fernley's way against Manogue. The Vaqueros had come back to tie the game 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning and Miner ace Kevin Jepsen had to come out of the game with tightness in his arm after working just two innings.
But an error led to two Manogue runs in the fifth. "They got a couple of runs that if we play a little better defense, they might not have gotten," Sandberg said.
Lambeth then hung a curveball and gave up a three-run home run in the sixth. "Matt pitched an excellent game against them," Sandberg said.
Fernley tied it in the fifth when Kyle Davis singled and Derek Henry walked. Brian Reeder singled and Lambeth's RBI single tied the game. Hines had two hits to lead the Vaqueros.
Wagner has four innings of eligibility left and will start against Manogue.
"We'll use him for as many innings as he's good for," Sandberg said.
Lambeth still has five innings left and will also pitch today. If Fernley wins the first game, Sandberg said he doesn't know what he'll do in game two.
"We've just got to see from there," he said. "We'll have to figure something out."
Reeder, who has four innings left, would likely start game two. Manogue has also had to use its top three pitchers, including Jepsen and Jimmy McCarthy, who picked up the win against Fernley.
All three will likely see limited action at most and it's unclear if Jepsen will be used at all.