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Reed, Spanish Springs baseball win season debuts
by Aaron Retherford
Mar 10, 2011 | 665 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Ray Charles era of the Reed baseball program began with the Raiders getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning of the first game of the 2011 season.

Reed pitcher Spencer Jones avoided any damage after walking a batter and hitting two others by recording an inning-ending strikeout.

The right-hander settled down and the Raiders rode him to a 4-2 victory over McQueen in the annual Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament.

As soon as Jones got out of trouble, the rain showers and clouds broke at the east Sparks school and the sun shined down on the Blue and Gold.

Jones helped his cause by leading off the bottom of the second inning with a double just inside the third-base line. A passed ball moved him up 90 feet. Erik Martinez then fought off a high and inside pitch and tomahawked it down the third-base line for an RBI double.

The Raiders added another run in the bottom of the third during McQueen hurler Anthony Calton’s trouble inning.

Calton threw 11 straight balls to walk three consecutive batters, ending his outing after 2 1-3 innings.

Mitch Gillespie came on in relief with the bases loaded and one out. He looked like he might escape the inning without giving up a run after striking out the first batter he faced. But then he proceeded to walk in a run, making it a 2-0 game. That’s all the scoring Reed could muster in the inning.

“Pitchers are ahead of hitters. Early in the season that’s always the case,” Charles said. “Fastball counts, they’re still able to throw it by them. That changes by the middle of the season. You’ve got to work ahead.”

The Lancers tied it up with a two-out rally in the top of the fourth frame.

Rob Higgley and Gillespie both rapped singles to left field, leaving runners on the corners. A wild pitch moved Gillespie up to second, putting two runners in scoring position for No. 9 hitter Ryan Chaump. Chaump fisted a bloop single to shallow left field, plating both runners and tying the game at 2-2.

The Raiders got right back in the act in their half of the inning, helping Jones earn the victory on the mound. Ryan Butler led off the bottom of the fourth by lacing a triple to center field. Butler trotted home on a Roberto Velazquez sac fly to right field for a 3-2 lead.

With two outs and Tanner Parris on second base, Connor Cox went golfing, driving a low fastball off the left-center field fence to trade places on the base paths with Parris and giving the home team the 4-2 edge.

Reed only managed seven hits on the day but held McQueen to five. Cox and Higgley were the only players to have two hits in the game.

Mark Nowaczewski pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the save.

“I thought Spencer did an outstanding job. He limited walks and our other pitcher came in and did a good job, too. I was pretty pleased with the two arms that we saw today,” Charles said.

Reed (1-0) plays back-to-back games today at 1:30 p.m. against Elko and at 4 p.m. versus Truckee.

•Spanish Springs took the field at Reed High following the Raiders’ win and pulled off the same outcome, easily dispatching Elko 15-0 in five innings.

The Cougars got their bats going early. Tanner Oates and Jake Bray launched solo home runs as part of the three-run first. Bray went 3-for-3 and added a pair of triples later in the game.

Spanish Springs blew the game open with a seven-run rally in the third inning. Oates went yard for the second time in the game, this time a two-run shot in the big inning. Chadd Little added a two-run double in the top of the third.

“I thought we hit the ball really well today,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said. “I thought Elko’s first couple of pitchers were really good, so I was pleased we came out and hit the ball. We still have some things to work on. Base running, we weren’t great in a couple areas. We missed some signs today. Offensively we did well, and defensively I don’t think we had an error.”

Malcolm Anderson nearly tossed a no-hitter, but it was broken up in the last inning. He settled for a one-hit shutout, striking out nine batters, walking four and hitting two others.

He also got it done at the plate, knocking in two runs with a fifth-inning double.

“In the first inning, I think he strikes out three and walks three. In the first 10 batters, he has six strikeouts and four walks. I was ready to praise him and wring his neck,” Hofmann said jokingly. “He really settled in the last few innings and found his groove.”

Spanish Springs (1-0) is at home today against McQueen and Douglas at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.
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