PREPS: Reno slips past Douglas 5-4
MINDEN – The Douglas and Reno High baseball teams have become accustomed to close battles over the years and Thursday afternoon was no different.
Reno escaped with a 5-4 win over the Tigers, holding off a seventh-inning charge.
“It was one of those that it’s great if you win and really tough if you lose,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “It was a heartbreaker.
“It was senior day for us and the kids went out and left it all on the field. We just came up short today.”
Douglas had a chance to tie and even win the game late, getting multiple runners on base before its fortunes turned.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Cody Begovich led off with a single and Cody Lommori followed with a single of his own.
That brought up Matt Thomas, who singled to score Begovich in and move Lommori to second, cutting the score to 5-4.
Kameron Van Winkle then hit a ground ball to third, where Lommori was forced out. Then things got interesting. The throw to first was errant and trailed away down the first baseline. Thomas was coming around second at that moment and was waved home.
Both Thomas and the throw arrived at the plate at the same time and Thomas was called out on the play.
“It was a bang-bang play, it could have gone either way,” Jacobsen said. “The Reno kid made a good play on the ball and beat us with it.”
Van Winkle wound up on second on the play, leaving the tying run still in scoring position. A ground out to first, however, ended the game.
“We had a heck of a chance there but we couldn’t make it happen,” Jacobsen said. “Reno is a good team. They found a way to get ahead and then found a way to hold on to it.”
Reno scored a run in the first but Douglas leadoff hitter Shane Fencl hit the first pitch he saw off the scoreboard in center field to tie the game at 1 in the bottom half.
The Huskies later went ahead 2-1 but Douglas came back with two runs in the bottom of the six to take a 3-2 lead.
Reno put up three in the top of the seventh to take the 5-3 lead, setting up Douglas’ final shot.
Van Winkle went the distance on the mound for the Tigers, taking the hard-luck loss.
“Kameron did what he has done for the last four years for us,” Jacobsen said. “When he is on the mound, he controls the game. He left everything out there today and it’s too bad we couldn’t come up with a win for him.
“There were a lot of positives today. Shane Fencl has really come into his own through this second half of the year. Cody Begovich and Cody Lommori were big today. Guys all the way up and down the lineup just did a heck of a job for us. We just came up a little bit short.”
Douglas closes out the regular season at Reno Friday afternoon and will play in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday. Heading into the final day of the regular season, no team has clinched a specific seed.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, where no one knows what seed they’ll have,” Jacobsen said. “There’s a lot of parity and the zone playoffs are setting up to be pretty incredible.
“Anyone can put together four solid games and step up to take this thing. It’s crazy to go all the way to the last day of the season and still not know what the bracket is going to look like. It’ll be fun.”