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Reed baseball rallies for 11-10 win in opener
by Aaron Retherford
Mar 07, 2013 | 2512 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The John Phenix era at Reed High got a new start Thursday and it was a good start.

In its prep baseball season opener, Reed batted around in the bottom of the first inning and pushed across five runs, but had to rally from a three-run hole late in the game to secure an 11-10 victory over Division I-A foe Lowry in the Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament.

After watching Lowry tally nine unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the Raiders put on their “rally caps” in the bottom half of the sixth to erase a three-run deficit.

Buckaroo reliever Tanner Lecumberry didn’t do himself any favors in his second inning of relief. He walked the first two batters of the inning and hit the third, leaving the bases juiced. Reed's Kevin Koszuth made him pay, scorching a laser to right field that drove in two runs.

Alec Leighton doubled in the game-tying run, and three batters later, Reed regained the lead on a high chopper up the middle by Brett Chaney. The RBI groundout to short forged Reed into a 10-9 advantage.

Reed wasn’t done in the inning, getting one more score when Tyler Starley drew a walk with the bases loaded. The Raiders were handed five free passes and a hit batsman in the inning and used only two hits to score the five runs.

Jonathan Pinto, who struck out the only hitter he faced in the sixth to help the Raiders avoid further damage, came back out in the seventh and shut the door. Pinto made it three straight strikeouts before giving up three consecutive singles, including an RBI base hit by Tyler Brumm that brought the Winnemucca school to within one run. But Pinto induced a game-ending pop-out in foul territory with the tying run on second.

With the help of three hit batsmen in the first inning, the Raiders staked claim to a 5-0 lead. Clean-up hitter Mark Nowaczewski came up with the bases loaded and snuck a grounder down the third-base line for a two-run single.

A walk to Joey Dice reloaded the bases and designated hitter Brandon Koszuth was plunked by an errant Jalen Formby pitch, forcing in the third run.

Nowaczewski came home via a wild pitch and Dice scampered home on an RBI groundout by Dylan Miller to make it a 5-0 score.

In the bottom of the second inning, Starley was hit by a pitch and came around to score from second on a one-out line drive single to shallow left field by Dice, extending the edge to 6-0.

Formby struggled with his control throughout most of his outing, hitting five batters in four innings of work. However, he did not allow another run, giving way to Lecumberry in the bottom of fifth with the score still 6-0.

Reed hurler Dylan Schlecht did not have that trouble. Schlecht held the Buckaroos scoreless during his four-inning stint, allowing two hits while walking three and striking out three.

“Awesome. I thought he was absolutely perfect. Great outing,” Phenix said. “Handing the ball to him the first game, a junior and unproven, he did a great job.”

Lowry threatened once Patrick Burrows took over mound duties for the Raiders to start the fifth. The Buckaroos took advantage of Reed’s first error of the game -- a dropped fly ball in right field.

Calvin Connors followed by lifting a fly ball opposite field that fell just inside the left-field line for a double, putting two runners in scoring position for Brumm. Brumm ripped a two-out line drive to center field, plating both runners with a base knock. Brumm advanced to second on the play due to a poor relay throw to the plate.

After a wild pitch moved up Brumm to third, Jesse Studebaker cut the deficit to 6-3 with a hard grounder back up the middle for a run-scoring single.

Burrows got in trouble again in the top of the sixth. A pair of walks and a pinch-hit single by Troy Hardy loaded the bases for Connors in the leadoff spot. Connors fisted a pitch just inside the third-base line, driving in a pair of runs with his second two-bagger off Burrows.

With runners on second and third, Brandon Okuma ripped a shot to center field, knocking in both runners with a go-ahead single. That gave the visitors their first lead of the game, 7-6.

The Bucks took an 8-6 lead when a routine grounder to third, that could have ended the inning, led to an errant throw to first, allowing Okuma to score from third.

Another throw that missed the mark pushed Lowry in front 9-6. With runners on the corners, Lecumberry swiped second and Brumm scored from third after the throw to second sailed into the outfield.

The six-run rally in the sixth frame forced the east Sparks school to play catch-up.

Reed wouldn’t have needed to rally if it took care of business at the plate. The Raiders stranded 11 runners in the game, leaving the bases loaded on two occasions.

“We didn’t move guys like we wanted to,” Phenix said. “We’re going to hit and run and execute bunts from tomorrow on. We need to execute. I noticed some things today that we need to work on.”

No one on Reed had more than one hit in the game, but a trio of Buckaroos finished with fine nights as Lowry doubled up on Reed’s hit total. Connors was 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI. Brumm was 3-for-5 with three RBI and Okuma knocked in two runs while going 2-for-4.

“Give them some credit. They swung the bats even in the early innings. We just made the play,” Phenix said.

Reed (1-0) hosts Carson today at 1:30 p.m. and Truckee at 4 p.m.
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