The Raiders finally ended the torment in the eighth inning when the home team posted a three spot on the scoreboard to secure a 9-8 extra-inning victory.
“We were trying to give them the game. But you know what, when we came up to the plate we battled,” Reed baseball coach Nick Royle said. “A win’s a win. We made some mistakes. We just come out to practice tomorrow and get ready for conference with Elko.”
Henley led most of the game thanks to putting up three runs in the top of third on the generosity of Reed pitching.
Leadoff hitter Kevin Gordon started the rally with a single and scored on Andrew McDaniel’s double. Then the Hornets just sat back and relaxed.
Four free passes forced in two more runs and ended starting pitcher Adam Bolingbroke’s outing.
Henley maintained its lead until the bottom of the sixth when Reed started hitting the ball.
The Raiders had just four hits through the first five innings but only trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom half of the sixth.
Derek Garcia and Jason Stroberg led off with back-to-back singles. Garcia went from first to third when Stroberg’s base hit was bobbled in left field, putting runners on the corners.
Roberto Velazquez tied up the game at 3-3 by sending Garcia home with a sacrifice fly. Velazquez was 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
An errant pickoff attempt at first base allowed Stroberg to rumble all the way to third, setting up Ryan Butler’s RBI single.
Reed had four hits in the sixth to snag its first lead of the game at 4-3.
The Raiders were set up nice to finish the non-league game in less than two hours. However, Henley wasn’t about to let its Spring Break trip end in bitter disappointment.
Reed ace Garrett Corbett came on in relief to close the door after A.J. Silva and Spencer Jones combined for 3 1-3 scoreless innings.
But Corbett allowed McDaniel to open the inning with a single and the struggles continued. Brandon Montgomery drove in the tying run with a shot to center field and three straight walks pushed across the go-ahead run. The Hornets added an insurance run on John Cullen’s sac fly for a 6-4 lead.
The Raiders battled back though and extended the game by tying it at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh thanks to an RBI double by Garcia and a run-scoring single by Velazquez.
Again, the Hornets regained the lead with a couple runs. With one out in the top of the eighth, Jake Means plunked McDaniel with a pitch.
McDaniel was able to come all the way around from first to make it a 7-6 game when David Rosser found the gap in right-center field for a two-bagger. A single up the middle by Montgomery plated Rosser, making it an 8-6 game.
It looked dire for Reed’s comeback chances when the first two batters of the bottom of the eighth got out. But with one swing of the bat, the Raiders were back in business. Pinch hitter Alex Young spanked a pitch over the left-field fence for a solo homer, cutting the deficit down to 8-7.
Garcia followed with a single, his third hit in the final three innings. Henley had a chance to end it but Rosser could not pick a low throw at first base on a routine grounder to shortstop.
Reed took advantage of the second chance. Velazquez drove in Garcia with a single and advanced Stroberg to third.
Butler ended it right there by ripping a single past a diving third baseman, scoring Stroberg for the game-winner. Butler was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Henley got seven innings out of starting pitcher Doug North but he didn’t factor in the decision as the HHS bullpen blew it in the eighth.
“For them to come down here and play a couple games before us, you have to tip your hat to the other pitcher. He battled,” Royle said. “His defense hurt them as much as our defense hurt us.”
Connor Cox also had three hits for the Raiders.
Reed (2-6) is back in action Friday night for the first game of a three-game High Desert League series with Elko. First pitch is slated for 3:45 p.m. at Reed.