Douglas baseball splits with Damonte

RENO - After dropping the first game of the day 9-3, the Douglas baseball team didn't waste any time showing how it was going to respond against Damonte Ranch Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers picked up three first-inning runs, sparked by a leadoff ground-rule double to deep center from catcher Jordan Hadlock on their way to a 6-2 win over the Mustangs in Reno.

Aside from gaining the split in the doubleheader, the Tigers claimed the overall three-game series against the No. 1-ranked team in the region.

"It was big to come back in that second game because there are so many different scenarios at the end of the year," Douglas coach John Glover said. "You want to have that tiebreaker on them. For us to show that kind of resiliency after a tough first game was good."

Tim Rudnick reached on a one-out error in the first inning, scoring Hadlock from second, Tyler May doubled to score Rudnick and Jeff Crozier singled to score May.

The big inning set the tone for the rest of the game.

Rudnick took the mound for Douglas in the bottom half and proceeded to retire the first seven batters he saw.

The Mustangs scratched out two runs in the bottom of the third but Rudnick stranded two runners after shortstop Shane Fencl turned a clean double play on a grounder up the middle to end a potential big inning before it got started.

Before that, Douglas had stretched its lead to 6-0 on a Rudnick single in the second, which scored Hadlock, and on a two-run homer to left from Hadlock in the third.

Hadlock had fallen back 1-2 in the count with two outs before blasting the ball deep over the fence.

"(Damonte Ranch pitcher) Cody Stevens was throwing really well all day," Hadlock said. "He was throwing a good fastball, a good slider and he just happened to hang one out there and I got a piece of it."

Hadlock's shot ended up playing a bigger role than originally thought. It was the last time a Douglas base runner would advance past second base in the game.

After the Mustangs put up the two-spot in the third, Damonte's Joey Webb took over on the mound and scattered four hits through the remainder of the game.

"It's one of those things, you just never know," Glover said. "Jordan fell back in that count and if he didn't battle and come up with the big hit, it could've been a much different game.

"I thought that Webb did a really good job on us. That home run became more important that you'd think at the time."

Rudnick gave way to lefty Tyler Hoelzen in the fourth and Hoelzen struck out four over the final four innings without allowing any runs.

Rudnick and Hoelzen each gave up one hit in the game.

"Timmy got us off to a great start and Tyler did a great job closing it out," Glover said.

Douglas will next travel to North Valleys on Thursday.

"Damonte is a great ball club," Hadlock said. "To take two out of three from them is huge. But we definitely have to keep taking our baby steps and get better every week."

"It's a strong league," Glover said. "Anybody is capable of beating anyone on any given day. North Valleys is up next and we will have our work cut out for us."


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