Douglas baseball dismantles Damonte Ranch
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN – The Damonte Ranch baseball team came to Tiger Field Thursday afternoon riding a 14-game win streak .
In a matter of a little under two hours, the Douglas Tigers had dismantled that with a 7-0 Sierra League victory.
“We talk about this every week,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “All these games are important. Damonte came in here undefeated in league play and they are a very good baseball team. I have a ton of respect for those guys over there. They’ll battle the whole way. There’s no quit in them and we know that.”
Douglas rode Tyler May’s third-consecutive complete game on the mound and some opportunistic hitting early on to the win.
Tanner Thomas and Beau Davis each went 2-for-2 with two RBI to lead the Tigers at the plate and May struck out five and scattered three hits in shutting out the Mustangs.
The Tigers spotted May an early two-run lead after catcher Jordan Hadlock led off with a single to shallow right and Tanner Thomas tripled to deep center to bring Hadlock home.
Tim Rudnick picked up the first of his two RBI on the next at-bat, grounding into a fielder’s choice at short which allowed Thomas to score.
“Tyler got us started by pitching a great first and then Jordan led off with a big hit,” Thomas said. “I just wanted to try to keep things going.”
Glover said the early spurt helped put pressure on the Mustangs.
“It’s always nice to start the game with a couple of runs and try to put some pressure on teams,” he said. “You can’t ask for more than how we started.”
Douglas boosted its lead to 4-0 in the second inning when Beau Davis singled Zach McFadden home and Hadlock hit a sacrifice fly to score third baseman Kameron VanWinkle.
May gave up a single in each of the first two innings but allowed just one more hit through the rest of the game.
That’s not to say he didn’t have to work through a couple of jams.
Damonte loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice in the top of the third but May got out of the inning on a ground ball to VanWinkle and a line drive to McFadden in left field.
“Tyler threw well for us,” Glover said. “He worked out of a couple of really tough jams. Getting out of that bases-loaded situation was a morale booster for everyone.”
Douglas plated three more runs in the bottom of the fourth as Davis grounded into a fielder’s choice to score VanWinkle, Thomas doubled to left to score Davis and Rudnick hit a sac fly to deep center to score Hadlock.
Douglas’ middle infield duo of Rudnick and second baseman Jeff Crozier put together one of the defensive highlights of the season in the top of the fifth when Ray Daniels blistered a grounder up the middle with Brian Walsh on first.
Rudnick sprinted at an angle toward the top of the infield to make a stop on the ball and then flipped it to Crozier for the first out. Crozier then fired across to first baseman Michael Whalin, who scooped it up for the double play.
May finished out the game on the mound, saving Douglas’ bullpen for the doubleheader at Damonte Ranch Saturday.
“That type of thing is big,” Glover said of the complete game. “We found out last weekend (in a split with Carson) that it’s huge to have the bullpen well-rested for Saturdays.”
Glover said he was initially going to throw lefty Tyler Hoelzen on the mound in the seventh. Incidentally, Hoelzen tossed a gem against the Mustangs in the third game of the year, shutting out Damonte 4-0 in Reno. Until Thursday afternoon, that had been Damonte’s last loss.
“We were going to go with Hoelzen, but May begged to have the ball,” Glover said. “It’s hard to tell a kid no when he’s got a zero hanging up there and he’s only given up three hits. We gave it back to him and he finished the job off.”
Douglas improved to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in Sierra League play with the win. Damonte dropped to 13-3 and 6-1.
“We’re experienced enough with 15 games under our belt to where the guys know what it’s about at this point,” Glover said. “We’re still young age-wise, but they are growing every day in terms of maturity on the field, and that is what we are looking for.”