Douglas baseball wins wild game against Reed

MINDEN - After eight innings, 10 different pitchers, 19 runs, 25 hits and 10 errors, it was one final error that decided the outcome of the game.

Douglas centerfielder Tyler Hoelzen came around to score from third base after a botched pickoff attempt to give the Tigers a 10-9 victory over the Reed baseball team Tuesday afternoon.

"It was quite a rodeo," Douglas coach John Glover said. "It was one of those typical Tuesday games. Things are crazy and a lot of guys are getting into the game. The kids just battled the whole way and that's really what it's all about."

Hoelzen was the late hero in the game, making an incredible inning-ending, diving catch on a shot into the right-center gap with runners on second and third and then scoring the winning run in the bottom half.

"It was a big play," Glover said. "If he doesn't make that catch, it's a lot different going into the bottom half."

As it was, Hoelzen came right back out of the dugout and drew a walk against Reed's Derek Willeford -- one of the Raiders' primary Saturday starters who was the sixth pitcher to take the mound for his team Tuesday - on five pitches.

Jeff Crozier sacrificed Hoelzen to second and Zach McFadden was hit in the right leg on the next pitch to put runners on first and second.

Freshman Kameron VanWinkle came to the plate and ended up striking out on an attempted hit-and-run, but the pickoff attempt on Hoelzen sailed through the third baseman's glove, and into left field, allowing Hoelzen to score.

"They manufactured a lot of runs today," Glover said. "We talk about it a lot, that there are no little things in baseball. Getting those bunts down and hitting behind runners played a big part in the outcome of the game."

The game ended much closer than it was playing out to be through the first three and a half innings.

After each team posted a zero on the scoreboard in the first, they traded runs in the second as Reed's Fabian Risa singled Willeford home in the top half and Hoelzen launched a solo home run to right field to lead off the bottom half.

Reed put the game's next five runs across, taking a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth before Douglas' Kyle Flagg singled to center to bring Crozier and McFadden home to cut the score to 6-3.

Reed pulled back in front with three runs in the top of the fifth, but Douglas' Jordan Hadlock came on to throw three-plus innings of one-hit ball to hold the Raiders scoreless into the eighth. He struck out five batters and walked two.

"That was nice to see from Jordan," Glover said. "He hadn't thrown in a week or two and he settled in and threw strikes and did a great job of chewing up some innings for us."

In the meantime, Douglas came up with the big innings in the bottom of the fifth as Hadlock doubled to deep center to lead the inning off and Tanner Thomas homered to right to close the score to 9-5.

Hoelzen reached on a one-out infield single, Crozier reached on a fielder's choice, McFadden singled and VanWinkle doubled down the third baseline to bring Crozier and McFadden around to cut the score to 9-7.

VanWinkle later scored on a passed ball and Ryan Quenga, running for Flagg, scored when Thomas drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game up.

"They got it done when they needed to," Glover said. "The six-spot in the bottom of the fifth was big."

While the Tiger offense did its job, Glover had to start looking for arms to put out on the mound in case Hadlock wore out.

"We gathered the guys up in the dugout and asked them who has ever pitched before," he said. "We're a little shorthanded with Tyler May out still and we had to use so many other pitchers already today."

It was second baseman Crozier who ended up taking the ball when Hadlock put two runners on with two outs in the eighth.

Crozier threw a ball and two strikes before Reed's Risa launched the ball into the outfield where Hoelzen made his game-saving catch.

Crozier ended up taking the win in a game that saw Troy Torres get the start and Beau Davis make his first career appearance on the mound

"Beau was something we started working on last week," Glover said. "We just needed another arm or two. Jeff Crozier hasn't thrown a bullpen session all year and he came in and got the job done. It was just a goofy Tuesday game. These things happen sometimes."

Douglas also got news Tuesday that a preliminary look at ace pitcher Tyler May's shoulder came back with encouraging results.

"The prognosis was good," Glover said of May, who was hurt during last week's non-league game against McQueen. "He went to the doctor today and they didn't find any breaks or anything. They'll take another quick look at it tomorrow and we'll go from there. We're just playing it day by day."


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