It was quite expected, something that hasn't been done to the Douglas High baseball team too often this season.
But Reed High's Larry Benson kept the Tigers off balance throughout and now Douglas finds itself on the brink of elimination. Benson three a three-hit complete game in a 6-1 win over the Tigers on Thursday at Ron McNutt Field in the Northern 4A playoffs.
Douglas will play Wooster at 3 p.m. today in an elimination game, with the winner advancing to a 6 p.m. game today against Reed. If the Tigers are to advance to the NIAA State Championships they must win three games and beat the Raiders twice in the process.
Benson struggled early as he walked three and hit a batter through the first two innings. But he escaped unscathed and went on to carry a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning. He struck out five and walked four.
Benson had shown the potential for such an effort as he beat Carson 4-2 earlier in the year. He kept Douglas off balance with his curveball throughout the game.
"You've got to tip your hat to him," Douglas coach John Glover said. "He flat out had our guys off balance.
"He threw a great game. The few opportunities we had - they were few and far between - we didn't take advantage of. That's a credit to Benson."
Chad Walling was hit by a pitch and Bryan Miller walked in the first for Douglas. But Walling was picked off at first and Miller was caught stealing. Jimmy Pierce and Kyle Luken walked in the second, but the Tigers couldn't take advantage.
Starting pitcher Tyson Estes was sailing along with two outs and nobody on in the second before he allowed an infield single. Ryan Lammle followed with a two-run home run, a 380-foot shot that almost hit the scoreboard in left centerfield to make it 2-0.
Estes was chased by an RBI single in the third that made it 3-0 and Bryan Miller came on to induce a groundout with the bases loaded to prevent any further damage.
In the fourth, though, Miller was victimized when Douglas failed to turn a double play that would have ended the inning. An error was made on the play and two runs scored. An RBI single then made it 6-0..
Pierce broke up the no-hitter with a single in the fifth. But Pierce was erased when Benson induced a combacker and turned it into a double play.
Douglas did receive a valuable effort from D.J. Brady, who pitched two scoreless innings, helping to save the Tigers' pitching for a possible three-game run.
In the seventh, Miller walked and Chris Honer singled. Pierce, who had two of the Tigers' three hits, hit an RBI single to make it 6-1. Brady walked to load the bases, but Benson got the last two outs on strikeouts to end the game.
"It's one game at a time from here on out," Glover said. "We've got to bounce back and play a very good Wooster team."
Contact Charles Whisnand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214.