Tigers split doubleheader with Reno
The Reno High School baseball team, ranked No. 19 in the country by Baseball America earlier this month, had not lost to a Northern Nevada team in more than a year and a half.
Douglas High had not won a game in its last four.
Both streaks came to an end in game two of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Tiger Field as Douglas pounded out 14 hits on its way to a 9-4 victory over the Huskies.
“It’s a big win,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “The thing that I am happy about is that the kids just stuck in there. We lost the first two games (of the regular season series against the Huskies) and they kept battling. They didn’t quit, they stuck with it and they beat a really, really good team this year.”
Each team put up a run in the first inning, but the Tigers pulled away with a six- run fourth, highlighted by four hits and two uncharacteristic errors by the Huskies all coming with two outs.
After Reno starter Mike Leinert retired Chris Honer and Jimmy Pierce, he hit D.J. Brady with a pitch. Stormy Herald, Spike Agosta, Luke Rippee and Chad Walling followed with consecutive singles, scoring three runs and chasing Leinert.
Reno’s Steve Rossi next walked Bryan Miller and Brandon Huff reached on an error at third. Chris Honer then singled to score Miller, followed by Jimmy Pierce reaching on another error at third. Brady then flied out to end the inning.
Reno answered with three runs in the top of the fifth off of Honer, but he came back to shut out the Huskies through the final two frames.
“He really battled,” Glover said. “He had some innings where he struggled and he couldn’t locate his fastball or his curveball.
“But it’s a testament to Chris. He battled through it, gave up those three in the fifth, and came back without letting it affect him. He didn’t go down in the dumps.
“His pitch count was up there in the latter innings but he wants to go back out. And that’s Chris, he’s a tough kid.”
Chad Walling went 4-for-4 to lead the Tigers while Huff, Rippee, Brady, Agosta and Herald each collected two hits.
“It’s a real high,” Agosta said. “To go from losing four games in a row like that and to come and beat one of the higher ranked teams in the nation, it’s just great.”
The flurry of hitting, especially from 7, 8 and 9 hitters Brady, Herald and Agosta, was a welcome sight to Glover.
“Anytime those guys down in the order can get on and have a chance for the guys in the top half to pick them up, that’s big,” Glover said.
In the first game of the day, a 10-1 loss for Douglas, Bryan Miller logged the Tigers’ only hit against Reno starter Jeff Schoenbachler.
The game was 2-1 Reno through six innings, and Miller had struck out six and scattered four hits before the Huskies exploded for eight runs in the seventh.
In Thursday’s loss to the Huskies, Reno lefty Chris Rickey also shut down the Tigers, holding them to three hits and two runs.
“The first two guys absolutely shut us down,” Glover said. “You have to tip your hat to them. They are studs and I thought we did a decent job against them. Those are two of the best pitchers in the league and they are very good.”
“It’s big just knowing that we can beat them. They have been the best team in Northern Nevada for the last five years and after losing two tough ones like that and to bounce back – it’s big for our kids.
“We’d lost four in a row coming into the second half of the doubleheader. We need to get going and we hope that’s a good place to start.”