Douglas baseball defeats Sparks

MINDEN -- Douglas American Legion coach John Glover summed it up perfectly.

"I didn't think we hit the ball that hard today, but we took advantage of their mistakes," he said. "We got a Texas Leaguer here and a bleeder there."

Indeed. The Tigers scored seven unearned runs and got a complete-game five-hitter from Bryan Miller, which carried Douglas to a 9-3 win over Sparks Tuesday night.

Douglas got off to a slow start against Rod Scurry, who fanned five batters in the first three innings, three on called third strikes.

In the third, the Tigers used infield hits by Chip Walling and Brandon Huff plus a sacrifice fly by Miller to take a 2-0 lead.

"That's a quality pitcher," said Glover referring to Scurry. "He beat us twice during the season. He's a pretty good pitcher."

Sparks scored three in the fifth off Miller, who gave up a run-scoring double to Gary Kenyan, a run-scoring single by Gary Krunik and a squeeze bunt by Tim Thompson.

Miller settled down, retiring 10 of the last 14 batters he faced. Sparks didn't get a runner past first base in the final four innings.

Miller fanned seven and walked four in what was probably the best game he's thrown this summer. He located his fastball extremely well on the outside half of the plate, and except for the fifth when Sparks scored all three of its runs, he was in control.

"I was concerned early because Bryan was getting behind in the counts," Glover said. "As the game went on, he found it (control) a bit.

"Bryan is a guy that needs to throw a lot of bullpens. He just can't step out there every week and a half and throw a gem for you."

Miller agreed with his coach's assessment.

"I just haven't thrown a lot (between games)," he said. "Sometimes I can find it, sometimes I'm horrible.

"My fastball was working good. The umpire called it (outside corner) a lot out there."

Douglas took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs after Scurry struck out the first two hitters of the inning.

Jeff Young and Walling single to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved them to second and third, and they both scored when Luke Rippee's groundball to short was misplayed by Brian Evans.

Douglas closed out the scoring with three unearned runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Huff led the Tigers' offense with three hits. Walling and Chris Honer added two each.

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