Douglas taxes Vikings, scoreboard
Douglas High scored so many runs that the scoreboard at the South Tahoe Babe Ruth field couldn’t handle it Tuesday afternoon.
The Tigers pounded three South Tahoe pitchers for 26 hits en route to a 22-10 trouncing of the Vikings in a Northern Nevada League baseball game.
Anyone who showed up late might have gone away thinking that the Vikings won 8-2 since the scoreboard couldn’t count past 19.
“We came out swinging. It’s about time because we’ve been struggling lately,” said Douglas coach Lars Baker.
The win kept Douglas, 12-5, firmly in the playoff picture.
“It wasn’t crucial to making the playoffs that we win this one, but for us to finish first or second it was,” Baker said.
The Vikings, who dropped their fifth straight, were never in this one.
South Tahoe spotted Douglas a 7-0 lead in the first inning.
“When they score that many in the first, you get frustrated. But for me, I never gave up,” said McDonnell, who led the Vikings with three hits.
In the first frame, Douglas touched Viking starter Greg Gerken with five straight hits, including a run-scoring double by Beau Kruger and a two-run single by Bruce Jacobson.
“They just crushed the ball. It seems like everyone we’ve been playing lately is mashing the ball,” said Viking skipper Ralph Clelan.
Clelan had hoped to start either Greg Bruso or Bret Uppendahl, but neither one was physically up to the task.
“‘Uppy’ threw 200 pitches on Saturday and Bruso hasn’t been feeling well. I’m not going to put somebody on the mound who doesn’t want to be there,” Clelan said.
After the Tigers took batting practice in the first, Gerken settled down. He allowed a solo homer to Jared Walker in the second and then became victim of some poor defensive plays.
“Greg didn’t pitch badly. We just didn’t play defense for him,” Clelan said. “I asked him a couple of times if he wanted to come out and he said he didn’t.”
Clelan stayed with his iron man until several batters after Gerken took a line drive off his left foot in the fourth inning. The senior surrendered 16 runs on 15 hits.
Gerken’s replacement, Carson Triggs, didn’t fare much better. During Triggs’ 2 2/3-inning stint, two errors were committed as six more runs crossed the plate.
First baseman Scott Fair finally tossed the Tigers’ their first bagel for an inning by striking out the side in the seventh.
“It’s a little frustrating because we’re hitting the ball all right, but we’re not playing great defense,” said Uppendahl, who made a nice grab in center field to end the Tigers’ first-inning explosion. “We’re playing some good teams. Hopefully, we’ll stay positive and come out and win a few more games.”
Tahoe never pulled any closer than six runs after the opening frame. Chris Barna’s two-run single in the third highlighted a three-run rally, drawing the Vikings to within 11-5.
However two errors contributed to a five-run Douglas fourth, and the Vikings left the bases full after scoring twice in their half of the inning.
Brad Ovard, Pat Gonzales, Juan Cruz and Bruce Jacobson had three hits for the Tigers. One of Cruz’s hits was a two-run homer in the third.
McDonnell’s seeing-eye singles were instrumental in several Viking uprisings. McDonnell, who also had two RBIs and scored two runs, muscled two hits just over the third baseman’s head.
“I was crowding the plate and I got jammed. But I was quick enough to get it over the third baseman. But I’m not trying to do that,” he said.
Bruso, Triggs, Adam Heggan and Scott Souers collected two hits. Bruso’s two hits went for extra bases – a solo homer to left in the first and a run-scoring double to the gap in right-center in the fourth.
Tahoe, which fell to 4-14 in league and 8-17 overall, plays host to Fallon on Thursday.
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