The Raiders hardly played a perfect game on Tuesday afternoon.
They committed four errors, stranded nine base runners and let Bishop Manogue’s best player, Bailey McLaughlin, go 2-for-4 with a grand slam and 5 RBIs. Still, the defending state champs were victorious.
Junior outfielder Jess Sellers ripped a walk-off single to center in the bottom of the eighth to give the Raiders a 6-5 comeback win over the Miners.
“It’s just experience and tenacity, not giving up,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “You could say the same of them though … We always seem to get their best when we play them. It’s good for us. It’s good for them … Those games make both teams better.”
No. 8 hitter Ryia Grant legged out an infield single to lead off the bottom of the eight and was sacrificed to second by Carla Hernandez, who belted a two-run home run in the fourth that gave the Raiders a 3-1 edge.
Sellers, the leadoff hitter, sent everyone home the following at bat.
“It’s really fun,” Sellers said of her walk off. “That’s one of the best things about the game.”
The eighth innings was the result of a big break for the Raiders (19-1-1, 12-0) in the top of the seventh. Following a three-base throwing error, an infield single and a stolen base, the Miners (10-7, 7-5) had runners on second and third with no outs and McLaughlin coming to the dish.
Julia Jensen worked a two-strike count then got McLaughlin to chase a fastball at the letters for the first out. Hailey Merlino tried to drop a bunt down in the ensuing at bat but she lined it right at Hernandez. The third baseman caught the liner and flipped to Kenzi Goins, covering third from short stop, to finish a double play and end the threat.
It was a defensive gem in a game that lacked much execution with the leather. Wunder said he’s not concerned about the four miscues.
“I’m thinking it was just a one game thing. We’ve been playing some pretty good defense,” he said. “When (they) have speed, that puts pressure on your defense.”
Jensen pitched all eight innings to pick up the win on the bump, striking out 13.
Hannah Blas also went the distance for Manogue, absorbing the loss.
The Raiders scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to tie the contest at 5-5 and eventually force extras.
Alexis Gonzales cut the gap to 5-4 with a sac fly and the next batter, Mackenzie Howren, tied it with an RBI single to right. The next two batters harmlessly popped up.
“We still need to continue to work on putting the ball in play. We’re hitting too many fly balls,” Wunder said.
The rally was necessary after McLaughlin deposited a 1-2 Jensen delivery over the fence in left-center for a grand slam in the top of the fifth. McLaughlin also drove an RBI single up the middle in the third that tied thing at 1-1.
Her blast in the fifth gave the Miners a 5-3 lead.
“You have to tip your hat to Bailey. She got a good pitch, a two-strike pitch and she put it out,” Wunder said. “That’s what good hitters do.”
Reed took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Goins solo home run.
The Raiders’ second one-run win over the Miners this season started an important week. They host Damonte Ranch (11-7, 8-4) on Thursday then go to Reno (11-5, 9-3) on Saturday for a double header.
Sparks snaps skid
The Railroaders ended a five-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 9-7 home win over Truckee.
With the win, Sparks moved to 4-13, 4-13 in the DI-A North. The Wolverines dipped to 4-13, 1-12.
Sparks managed to pull out the win despite getting outhit 9-8, committing five errors to Truckee’s three, and leaving 10 runners on base.
Riley Nelson threw all seven innings for the Railroaders to pick up the win. She was charged with seven runs, although just two were earned, on nine hits. She struck out five and walked two.
Nicole Fiero was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, 4 RBIs and a couple runs scored. Angie Ruiz went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and run.
Sparks did most of its damage early, leading 8-4 after three innings.
The Railroaders continue league play on Friday at Dayton (0-17-1, 0-14).