RENO- In a match-up between the Sierra League's No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Damonte Ranch used a five-run second inning to upend the frontrunning Douglas baseball team Thursday afternoon in Reno.
The Mustangs collected 14 hits and managed to stave off a late rally from the Tigers to take the 9-6 win.
Damonte Ranch ace Matt Gardner gave Douglas fits throughout the game, recording five strikeouts and walking just one while giving up just two hits through the first four innings.
"He threw well today, he's very good," Douglas coach John Glover said. "His slider is tough and he has a nice fastball. He's one of the top guys in the league and we just couldn't get enough runs off him."
Damonte Ranch broke the game open in the bottom of the second, stretching a 1-1 tie out into a 6-1 lead on three hits.
The teams traded zeros until the top of the fifth when Jordan Hadlock sacrificed Willie Morgan home.
Damonte Ranch's Ray Daniel hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, but Douglas came back around and started getting into Gardner a bit, scratching out five hits and four runs over the final two innings.
"The kids stayed in there and they battled," Glover said. "We still had a chance at the end.
"We're talking about a good baseball team here, they're solid. They've come a long way since beginning not too long ago. I'm very impressed with them. They are definitely one of the top teams we've played this year."
Cory Eilers tripled and homered for the Tigers, driving in two runs. Ryan Pruitt also homered and Hadlock and Tyler May each had a double.
Daniel and Josh Blake led Damonte Ranch with three hits apiece.
The two teams meet up again Saturday for a doubleheader at Douglas High School starting at 10 a.m.