The visiting Raiders (5-4, 1-3 Northern 4A) broke open a close game with four runs in the top of inning seven to steal the much-needed conference victory.
“If anything, you try to muster a split,” Reed coach Ray Charles said. “We had already gotten swept by McQueen and then lost again Saturday. I didn’t want to push the ‘Panic’ button yet but I didn’t want to lose another series either. We want to keep the momentum we got today going into our next series.”
Reed held a 4-3 edge after six innings but put Douglas away with its four-run seventh. Chuck Stroberg singled to start the rally. Casey Higgins and Joey Dice walked to load the bases. Brett Chaney singled in Stroberg and a Douglas error on the play also allowed Higgins to circle the sacks. An RBI fielder’s choice by pinch hitter Drew Bryant plated Dice and Chaney scored soon after when Ryan Butler singled.
The outburst forged Reed ahead 8-3. Douglas did tack on a single score in the bottom of the seventh, but it proved too little, too late.
Spencer Jones turned in a solid outing on the hill for Reed. The Raiders senior right-hander limited Douglas to the four runs, only two of which were earned. He scattered seven Tigers hits in a 13-strikeout, 0-walk performance.
“I was very pleased with the way Spencer pitched today,” Charles said. “He threw well, no walks. He did hit a couple batters, but overall had great command. He kept us in the game and gave us an opportunity to win.”
Douglas (7-1, 2-1) managed to score single runs in the second and third and took a 2-1 lead after three frames. That score remained intact until Reed pushed across a trio of runs in the top of the fifth.
Beau Tittensor reached for Reed on one of seven Douglas errors to initiate the threat. He came around to score after an A.J. Silva single and a Stroberg double. After Higgins was hit by a pitch, Jones lofted a sacrifice fly to bring Silva home. Stroberg scored when Chaney reached on another Tigers fielding miscue.
‘”Probably what I was most pleased with was we got some clutch hitting,” said Charles, whose team was still out-hit 8-6. “We kept pushing runs across, trying to stretch the lead. It’s nice to do that. We were never comfortable, but we got a little bit of a cushion and it gave us some room to play with.”
Reed returns to action Thursday when it hosts Wooster at 3:45 p.m.
Carson 7, Spanish Springs 5
At Carson, Spanish Springs had to settle for another split of a league series. The SSHS nine took Game 1 of the series from Carson at home Saturday, but failed to get the sweep after a lackluster performance Tuesday.
“We didn’t’ have very good approaches at the plate,” Cougars coach Ben Hofmann said. “Credit their pitcher. He was pretty good. And our pitchers had trouble all day getting strike one so we were constantly falling behind in the count. We also had three errors to their one.
“We didn’t warm up well and it translated to the game. We’re not to a point where we can just show up and win games. We need to practice and warm up and be mentally, as well as physically, ready at game time. We weren’t today.”
Spanish Springs (4-5, 2-2) did score first thanks to a first-inning solo homer by Chase Kittilsen, but Carson’s starting pitcher, Charlie Banfield, settled in from there. He responded by retiring 13 of the next 16 Cougars he faced. Banfield wound up getting the win, tossing 5 2-3 innings of five-hit ball.
Carson tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. The Senators added four more in the second and one more in the fifth en route to capturing a 6-1 advantage after five innings of play.
Lucas Jones laced a two-run single for Spanish Springs in the top of the sixth, trimming the hosts’ lead to 6-3.
After Carson (5-3, 3-1) added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, Spanish Springs struck for two more runs in the seventh but could get no closer than the final two-run margin.
Spanish Springs is back on the diamond again Thursday when it goes to North Valleys. First pitch is slated for 3:45 p.m.