Reed entered Tuesday’s home contest against Galena relatively untested.
It owned a shiny 12-1 overall record and a 5-1 mark in DI North, but the five league wins came over teams that entered Tuesday with a combined 5-13 league record. So the Raiders’ showdown with the Grizzlies, who came in at 8-3-1, 5-1, was their first real chance to see how they measured up with the region’s best.
“It really was (a measuring stick),” Reed coach John Phenix said. “I really wanted to see how we would stack up, matchup with them.”
If the final score was any indication, the Raiders aren’t quite there yet. They allowed nine runs in the first two innings, committed four errors and stranded 12 runners in an 11-5 loss.
Reed left eight of the 12 runners in the final three innings.
“That was huge,” Phenix said. “Especially at the end.”
Down 10-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Reed loaded the bases with two outs and No. 4 hitter Austin Beard stepping to the plate. Beard, who is battling a hematoma in his leg, had already blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to cut the sizeable deficit to 10-3.
Beard worked a 2-0 count against new relief pitcher Russel Hicks only for Hicks to paint the corner with his next two pitches then jam Beard with his 2-2 delivery, inducing a weak chopper back to the mound and killing the rally.
“The kid made a great pitch on him … It surprised me,” Phenix said. “We needed to score some runs (there).”
Timmy Lichty provided an insurance run for the Grizzlies in the top of the seventh with a solo shot to center, putting a cap on his big afternoon. Lichty finished 3-for-4 with a double, home run, 5 RBIs and three runs scored.
Reed again loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, with one out, thanks to three walks, but managed just a Vinnie Fillapone RBI infield single sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts. Fillapone finished 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and a runs scored.
Tyler Asiff got the start for Galena on the bump and picked up the win. He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits over 5.2 innings of work.
Austin Johnson started for the Raiders and recorded just three outs, absorbing the loss.
He gave way to Jared Gallegos, who prevented the game from getting out of hand. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over 4.1 innings of relief.
“Gallegos came in and did a fantastic job keeping them off balance,” Phenix said.
Galena scored five runs in the first on six-straight hits and four run in the second on four hits.
Reed (12-2, 5-2) will go to Galena (9-3-1, 6-1) on Thursday with hopes of salvaging a regular-season split.
“(A split) would be very nice at this point for us,” Phenix said. “This team is capable of it. They know where they stand.”
Spanish Springs a 5-1 victor at Douglas
Alan Lummel kept the Cougars perfect in DI North play on Tuesday afternoon.
Lummel scattered seven hits, allowing one run in a complete-game victory as Spanish Springs rolled 5-1 at Douglas.
Lummel fanned six and walked just one as the Cougs improved to 12-3, 7-0. The Tigers dropped to 5-10, 2-5.
Casey Miller was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs in the win. His first double of the day plated pinch runner Mason Homsley in the top of the fourth to give Spanish Springs a 2-0 lead. Homsley was running for Josh Prizina, who drove in the first run of the game two at bats prior with an RBI double of his own.
Douglas scored its lone run of the day in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 2-1.
The score remained unchanged until the top of the sixth, when Miller dug in with the bases loaded and poked a two-run double to right center. His pinch runner, Jordan Santos, eventually scored on an error for the final run of the day.
Marlin Brucato went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple. Prizina was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
The Cougs will attempt to complete the regular-season sweep of the Tigers at home on Thursday.
Sparks falls in 12 at home to Truckee
By Mike Bradley, reporting intern
It took an extra five innings to decide the winner of Tuesday’s DI-A North between Sparks and Truckee. The Wolverines were eventually victorious, pulling out a 6-5 wins (12 innings) after late Railroader comeback forced extras.
“We battled hard,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “We had a few baserunning mistakes but we’ll learn from it. Our older teams would have lied down after being down 5-0, so that shows that we’re growing as a team.”
With their loss, the Railroaders fell to 3-8, 0-7 in the DI-A North. Truckee (1-10, 1-6) picked up its first win of the season.
Senior Bruce Hicks started on the mound for Sparks. Hicks’ day was done after just two innings, giving up five earned runs off five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Junior Elijah Shelton came in to throw a scoreless third and fourth, giving up just two hits and two walks. Junior Matt Longland would end up taking the loss though, throwing a strong eight innings of relief. His stat line totaled just one earned run off two hits with five walks and 12 strikeouts.
Connor Bullion was the Wolverines’ starter and received the win. The righty fanned two, walked one and allowed two hits in a scoreless four innings. JJ Bellon, Gary Grosjean and Bradley Vanschoonhoven also had control of the mound as they totaled for ten more hits, nine strikeouts, and three walks
The Railroaders didn’t shy away from the fight after falling in the 5-0 hole. Sparks scored their first three runs in the sixth inning. The following inning Hicks kicked things off with a double to center then Longland switched places with him to put the Railroader within one. With two outs, Shelton came through with a single to right and saved the game for Sparks.
Longland continued his strong pitching through the five extra innings, but found himself with the bases loaded in the top of the twelfth. Truckee’s Grosjean laid down a bunt down the third baseline that pushed the game-winning run across.
The Sparks bats finished with twelve hits while Truckee totaled ten hits with help from four Railroader errors.
Sparks will continue the search for its first league win when it goes on the road to face the Elko Indians (9-4-1, 9-0) on Friday.