Douglas baseball falls to Reno
MINDEN – Trying to beat red-hot Reno High in baseball is a monumental task these days even when you have all your players suited up.
Trying to beat them when you are missing three of your top hitters makes it next to impossible. That was the task awaiting a short-handed Douglas High Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers played without relief pitcher Pat Hughes, first baseman-pitcher Brandon Huff, pitcher-outfielder Austin Graham and outfielder James Bunting, all of whom were suspended for breaking team policies, according to coach John Glover. Huff has been dismissed from the squad, while the other three return to play Reno today at 3:30 in a key Sierra League doubleheader.
Despite playing short-handed, the Tigers played hard throughout en route to a 13-8 loss, which snapped a seven-game winning streak.
“I’m proud of the way the kids battled back against the best team in the league using a lineup that we normally don’t use,” said Glover, referring to his team’s five-run sixth inning. “We’re in zone (playoffs) I think. It’s a matter of where we’re going to play. We have five games to go, and we need to keep battling.”
It appeared the game would be over in five inning because of the 10-run rule, as Douglas faced a 13-3 deficit when it came to bat in the sixth.
The Tigers responded with five runs and six hits, sending 10 players to the plate.
Bryan Miller and Kyle Luken produced run-scoring hits for the Tigers in the sixth. An error, wild pitch and passed ball accounted for the three other runs in the sixth.
The inning ended with a controversial call. With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Honer grounded sharply to third. Jake Johnson threw to second to force a sliding Luke Rippee. The umpire gave Reno a double play, ruling that Rippee made an illegal slide into second base. That call ended the rally and the inning.
Drew Johnson allowed a hit in the seventh, but retired the side without any further damage.
NOTES: The teams meet today at 3:30 p.m. in a Good Friday doubleheader at Reno High… Glover is expected to send Graham and Honer to the mound … Jake Nielsen, Marc Walling, Miller, Luken, and Stormy Herald all had two hits for the Tigers.