Reno set the tempo with its first trip to the dish, tallying four runs and never looking back as it cruised to a 13-3 victory Tuesday in a mercy-rule shortened six-inning affair.
“I guess there’s just something about this park for us,” Reed coach John Phenix said after the loss. “Right from the start we were down. We go up and it’s just three-up, three-down just like that. Then they come up and spot four on the board. Then we were playing from behind and the kids just got tighter and tighter.”
After the Huskies seized a 4-0 edge in the first, Reed cut the deficit to three in the top of the second with a deep blast to right-center field off the bat of Mark Nowaczewski. Although the solo shot kept the Blue and Gold within striking distance, it would prove to be the last time a Reed runner advanced beyond first base until the sixth inning.
With the score still 4-1 midway through the fourth frame, Reno cushioned its lead by pushing home a pair in the bottom half of the inning.
Graham Macmillan led off with a solo dinger over the fence in right-center field to push the Reno lead to 5-1. After the next two batters were retired, a bunt single by Michael Riedeman kept the inning alive for the Huskies. Riedeman then rounded the bases as Garrett Hampson knocked him home with a double for a 6-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Huskies tacked on two more to their lead. Back-to-back singles and an ensuing sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position for the home squad. A groundout followed, putting the Raiders one out away from escaping the inning unscathed. Unfortunately for Reed, Reno’s Chip Bouchard had other ideas as he sent a two-RBI double to the gap in right field to leave the scoreboard reading 8-1 in favor of the Huskies after five innings.
In the top half of the sixth frame, the Raiders looked to mount a comeback effort, but fell short.
After its first two batters of the sixth were retired, Reed sparked a two-out rally with a string of four hits. Joey Dice got things going with a triple off the wall in straightaway center. A Nowaczewski single into right then brought Dice home, bringing the margin to 8-2. Brandon Koszuth followed with a flare into right, leaving runners on the corners for Dylan Miller, who sent a single into left field to plate Nowaczewski.
Now down 8-3 with runners on the corners, a pop out into foul territory ended the Raiders’ threat. It proved to be Reed’s final at-bat as Reno hung five runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth to impose the 10-run mercy rule.
Nowaczewski was the lone bright spot at the plate for the Raiders, accounting for a trio of Reed’s eight hits as he went 3-for-3, tallying for two runs and two RBI.
On the mound, Thomas Sertic took the loss as he went 4 2-3 innings, giving up eight runs on 10 hits while striking out three. Kevin Koszuth pitched 1 1-3 innings of relief with five runs against on fours hits and three walks.
For Reno, Austin Atkerson went the full six innings for the win. He struck out four while allowing eight hits and three runs.
The Raiders will now try to stay alive in an elimination game as they host Douglas. Reed split its regular season series with the Tigers, dropping a 3-2 decision in the first contest before earning a 10-3 victory in the second tilt. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Phenix said in order for his team to extend its season, it will need to have a short memory.
“We have to forget this one. It’s double elimination,” he said. “We just have to get it out of our system and take it one at a time.”