Tiger baseball sweeps North Valleys
by Joey Crandall
Appeal News Service
And it just keeps on coming.
Through eight games entering Saturday’s doubleheader against North Valleys, the Douglas baseball team had scored 101 runs – an average of almost 13 per game.
The Tigers stayed true to their average, sweeping the Panthers 13-7 and 13-3.
Douglas shortstop Luke Rippee led the charge, hit home runs in each game and extended a home-run hitting streak to three games.
“He’s run into a couple lately,” Douglas head coach John Glover said. “He got a lot stronger over the course of the year. He’s been in the weight room working hard and it is paying off for him.”
Rippee has been on a tear to open the year, hitting above a .600 clip in Douglas’ lead-off spot with three doubles, two triples and four home runs.
“I got a lot of confidence back (over the summer),” Rippee said. “I worked really hard on my swing and coach (Hal) Wheeler and coach Glover really helped me.
“There’s a lot of season left but I hope I can keep it going.”
Rippee is quick to point out that his isn’t the only bat that is popping in the Douglas lineup.
“We’ve been getting great hitting through the lineup, one through nine,” he said. “It’s not just one guy, the whole lineup is doing a great job, and that has made my job real easy.”
Such was the case Saturday as the Tigers collected 12 hits in game one, highlighted by home runs from Rippee and Spike Agosta.
In game two, Chad Walling, Bryan Miller, Brandon Huff, Jimmy Pierce and Roman Davis all had doubles as Rippee drove in three and Davis and Agosta each drove in two.
“You hope it won’t run out, you do worry about that,” Glover said of his offense. “But we’re not going to go through the season and score 15 runs every single game. It’s just not realistic. It’s not baseball.
“We have to keep playing defense and pitching so that when we do get into a game where the offense sputters a little, we’re still able to win.”
Pitching was something that the Tiger offense nearly overshadowed Saturday afternoon.
Huff enjoyed another stellar afternoon on the mound, improving to 3-0 on the season with a win in game two. Huff struck out nine and walked one, allowing six hits.
At one point, he retired 10 straight to carry Douglas through the middle innings swiftly.
Douglas next faces South Tahoe at home Thursday at 3:30 p.m.