Galena baseball rolls past North Valleys
Nevada Appeal News Service
RENO – The Grizzlies wasted no time dismantling the Panthers in the first round of the Northern 4A baseball playoffs at Bishop Manogue.
“Heading into the playoffs, we were a little concerned,” Galena coach Gary McNamara said. “We weren’t playing what I felt like was our style of baseball.”
McNamara isn’t concerned any more after Eric Maupin’s one-hitter and Jake Hess’ two home runs fueled a 13-1 mauling over North Valleys Tuesday afternoon.
“We were pretty positive going into it,” Panthers coach Josh Reddig said. “We can’t commit errors to any team, especially Galena, because they’ll come back quick.”
The reigning Northern 4A champs advance in the championship bracket to face Bishop Manogue, a 17-4 winner over Carson, at 4 p.m. North Valleys takes on Carson at 1 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
“It’s not going to be easy for us,” Reddig said. “Either way, our work’s going to be cut out for us.”
North Valleys, which qualified for its first-ever playoff berth, jumped on Galena in the first inning when a lead off double crossed the plate.
“The first one is always the toughest one,” Maupin said of the game. “The first inning, I was a little pumped up and got some pitches up.”
Maupin, though, picked himself up in the bottom of the inning when he tied the game on a single.
“Eric was outstanding and had that two-out hit to tie the game,” McNamara said. “We were able to answer back. He got that base hit, and it got this team on the board.”
Hess added insurance with a three-run blast to put Galena up 4-1.
“Today, I could feel our team was pumped up,” Hess said.
After the Grizzlies plated five runs in the third inning, all coming from singles, Hess launched his second home run of the afternoon in the fourth inning. Facing a 3-1 count, Hess drilled the ball over the left-center wall for a grand slam, giving Galena the win by the 10-run mercy rule.
“I couldn’t tell when I was hitting,” Hess said about the mercy rule.
McNamara said Hess has been swinging a hot bat recently and wasn’t surprised about his production on Tuesday.
With Maupin striking out 10 Panthers and the offense smacking 13 hits, McNamara feels his team is playing the best it has this season.
“That’s the luxury of having an experienced group,” McNamara said. “We just talk that two-out runs win games.”
McNamara said lefty Jacob Anderson will take the hill against Bishop Manogue.
“We’re going to show up for the game, and Jacob Anderson is the pitcher,” he said. “We choose not to worry about who we play.”