Over six innings, Schlecht allowed just five hits and four earned runs with six strikeouts. With Schlecht dealing on the mound, the Raiders took advantage en route to an 8-1 lead before holding on for an eventual 8-5 victory over the Panthers.
“We made it interesting again,” Reed coach John Phenix said. “Schlecht threw a great game. I’m proud of him because he knew this was an elimination game. He hasn’t pitched of late and he came in and threw great. We threw him too many pitches and that was my fault, but I wanted him to finish because I knew he has some time to rest.”
Through the first five innings, Schlect gave up one run to the Panthers, helping guide the Raiders to an early lead.
In the bottom half of the third inning, Reed took advantage of a couple NVHS miscues to plate the first runs of the contest.
After Jon Pinto took a leadoff walk and Mark Nowaczewski reached base via an error, Brandon Koszuth delivered a single into right field to plate Pinto for a 1-0 lead. Koszuth then stole second base to put runners on second and third. A balk then pushed Nowaczewski across the plate and Koszuth to third, where Brett Chaney brought him home with a bloop single into right field to leave RHS on top 3-0.
North Valleys tallied a run in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Raiders responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame on a solo shot deep to right by Nowaczewski.
In the sixth, Reed gave itself some breathing room.
Three straight walks started the bottom half, leaving the Raiders with the bases loaded and none out. A single into left field off the bat of Pinto scored a pair before back-to-back fielder’s choices tallied two more for the Raiders, leaving the scoreboard reading 8-1.
Three outs away from a win, Reed did not finish without a little dramatics as North Valleys scored four runs before the Raiders recorded the final out for the victory.
Reed had a rather forgettable effort in its first contest of the day, dropping a 17-9 decision to McQueen.
Down just 5-3 after two innings, the Raiders spotted McQueen seven runs in the top of the third to push the Lancers’ advantage to 12-3. From there, the Blue and Gold slowly chipped away at the deficit until it was down 13-9 at the end of five, but MHS responded with four runs in the top of the sixth to seal the victory. The Raiders committed five errors as six of the Lancers’ runs went unearned.
“We played horrible in the first game,” Phenix said. “McQueen swung the bats, but we didn’t help ourselves at all. We got behind early again and started to rally back and we gave them even more runs the next time out.”
Austin Dutra was one of the lone highlights against McQueen, finishing the day with a 3-for-3 effort at the dish along with two RBI.
Reed (11-8) will now look to stay alive in the tournament with a 1 p.m. contest today in Carson. Phenix said there is a lot his team can take away from both results of day one.
“I think they need to play with a little more confidence in themselves and a little bit more of a team desire,” he said. “When we have a chance to beat somebody and put them away early in a game, we have to capitalize on it. Our pitchers have to come out and set the tone. It’s frustrating when they don’t play with enough intensity to where they carry it all the time between the lines.
“You’re going to get beat in this league, but it’s like I told them, ‘You are beating yourselves a lot of times. You’re beating yourself with a lack of confidence, a lack of knowledge of situations.’ They have to fight through that because this league is wide open.”