Archive for May, 2006

Reno High Playoff Results

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

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Posted: 5/10/2006
Picture: SCOTT SADYReno High Baseball Results

At Reno High Tuesday, the Huskies took a 10-0 win over Reed to move into a winners’ bracket game on their home field against Galena at 6 p.m. today. The Grizzlies advanced with a 9-4 come-from-behind victory over Douglas. Reed and Douglas will play in a losers’ bracket game at Reno at 3 p.m. today.

RENO 10, REED 0 at Reno: Huskies’ pitching star Garrett Luippold silenced the Raiders and Pete Savage pitched the fifth inning as they combined for a two hitter in the game that ended on the 10-run rule.

Luippold, who threw less than 50 pitches in his four innings, threw first pitch strikes to all 14 batters he faced. A two-run homer by Jon Dankworth over the left field scoreboard got the Huskies rolling with a 3-0 lead in the second round.

“We swung the bats well,” said Huskies’ coach Pete Savage, the reliever’s father. “We played good defense. The kids had a good approach. Getting the runs early was nice.

“I think anytime you get Luippold an early lead in the game, he’s tough to come back on.”

The Huskies, the Sierra League regular season champion, ran their overall record to 28-6 and the Raiders, who finished fourth in the High Desert dropped to 15-19.


41 and Counting

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Reno’s Luippold extends scoreless-inning streak as Huskies beat Carson 4-0 to clinch Sierra League baseball title

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RENO (May 3) – Physically or tactically, Reno pitcher Garrett Luippold won’t remind anyone of Don Drysdale or Orel Hershiser.

Numerically, though, he’s getting a whiff of the rarefied air those two Los Angeles Dodgers pitching greats once breathed.

The junior lefthander kept his 4A Sierra League earned run average at 0.00, improved to 8-0 in league and extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings in league play to 41 with a four-hit shutout Wednesday as the host Huskies clinched the league championship with a 4-0 victory over Carson.

John Rice sent a two-run homer into the scaffolding of a construction project behind the left-field wall in the third inning to give Luippold all the offensive support he needed as Reno improved to 19-0 in league and 27-4 overall. The Huskies can complete a perfect league season by winning their final two games of the series with their longtime rivals Thursday at Carson and Friday at Reno.

Carson fell to 15-4 in league and 19-8 overall, but already had clinched the Sierra League’s No. 2 seed in next week’s Northern 4A regional tournament, from which the top two finishers will advance to the 4A state tournament at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Luippold required only 83 pitches to complete his latest tour de force, which lasted only one hour and 52 minutes. He struck out eight, giving him 66 Ks in his 41 league innings, and walked only one. Only one ball, a line drive to center field by Logan Parsley in the fourth inning that Adam Shochat caught just in front of the warning track, was struck with more than pedestrian authority.

If Luippold pitches two more shutouts in the regional, he could come within hailing distance of one of major league baseball’s most hallowed pitching records – the 59 straight scoreless innings by Hershiser in 1988 when he won the Cy Young Award and pitched the Dodgers to a World Series title. The previous record of 58 1/3 innings was set by Drysdale in 1968, breaking a record that had stood for 55 years.

Hershiser was tall and lean, and in ’88 trying to hit his slider was like John Daly trying to win at a $5,000 slot machine. Drysdale was a huge, hulking power pitcher who was perhaps the meanest pitcher of a mean era when zeroing in on hitters’ heads was considered an accepted part of the game.

Luippold doesn’t resemble either of those pitchers, and not only because he’s a lefty while the other two were righthanders.

He’s only about 5-foot-10 and, while strong and sturdy, he doesn’t intimidate with his physical presence, and he uses his outside pitches to set up his inside deliveries. He doesn’t generate remarkable velocity – perhaps topping out at around 87 mph – and his breaking pitches don’t veer enough to buckle hitters.

But all of his pitches are “heavy” in that they have downward, deadening spin, which means he throws a lot of ground balls. All four of Carson’s hits were choppers or squirmers through the infield, and the lineout by Parsley – who entered the game batting a league-best .533 – was the only fly-ball out of the 21 he got. With the help of catcher Zach Thomson’s framing, Luippold was able to pitch to slivers on the outside fringe of the plate. Because he changes speeds so often and well, he had many of the Senators (six of whom were hitting .300 or better entering the game) lunging and committing their weight forward too soon.

According to Reno coach Pete Savage, Luippold does have one thing in common with Hershiser, who was nicknamed “Bulldog” because of his tenacity.

“He’s pretty amazing,” Savage said. “Not only does he have outstanding command of three pitches (fastball, curve and slider), but he can throw all three where they’re called for, and he has a really, really tough mental game. He just does not like to give up runs … any runs.”

Luippold says his ability to sink the ball is something he has been able to nurture naturally without having to focus on manufacturing a motion. He also says he pitches to put the ball in play, and not to accumulate large strikeout totals or illuminate radar guns.

(In that respect, he is similar to Jeff Ballard, a Stanford lefthander during the early 1980s at whom scouts scoffed because he wasn’t particularly big or burly, and had even less velocity at Stanford than Luippold does now. Nevertheless, Ballard eventually was drafted and signed by the Baltimore Orioles, for whom he won 18 games in 1989 before injuries short-circuited his career.)

“I don’t really try to do it (sink the ball); I just do it,” said Luippold, who estimates that about 35 to 40 percent of his pitches are off-speed deliveries. “I know that when people hit the ball, I’ve got a defense that can go get it, and I know I can’t get overloaded too much early because then I’ll have nothing left at the end.”

After Tony Fagan beat out an infield single with one out in the second, Thomson threw Fagan out while trying to steal second. And after Brooks Greenlee kangarooed a double into the left-field corner to lead off the fifth and advanced to third on an infield out, Reno shortstop Davis Banks saved the shutout and Luippold’s scoreless-inning litany one out later by charging a nubber by Sean Costella, barehanding the ball on the dead run and getting Costella by half a step at first while throwing off-balance.

Greenlee’s hit was Carson’s last of the game as Luippold retired nine of the final 10 hitters he faced (the only baserunner was on his only walk) while not allowing the Senators to hit the ball out of the infield.

His performance obscured the fact that Carson starter Josh Caron pitched well enough to win against most teams and most pitchers. The score was 2-0 after five innings, and that was only because of Rice’s home run. Caron, ahead 0-and-2 on the count, tried to get a fastball up and in on Rice, who sent it up and out – way out on a rare windless day in one of the few Northern 4A ballparks that doesn’t make every hitter a long-ball threat.

Both runs were unearned because Rice’s HR came after a two-out infield error by Senators shortstop Kevin Schlange, allowing Tom Moore to reach first.

“I wasn’t really looking for anything,” Rice said. “I just got back to basics and tried to see it and hit it. I’d just missed the 0-and-1 pitch, which was a good pitch to hit. Their guy pitched a great game and we had to play real well to win.

“We can go a long way if we keep the closeness we have and don’t have any separation between us.”

Caron went 5 1/3 innings and gave up only two hits – the homer to Rice, and a single to the last batter he faced – Mike Brown, whose hit brought home Rice (who had walked) to extend Reno’s lead to 3-0. Pinch-hitter Jon Dankworth singled home the Huskies’ final run.

“(Caron) threw a hell of a game, except for that one mistake (to Rice),” Carson coach Steve Cook said. “He tried to get the fastball up and in and missed, and the kid just took advantage of it. I’m not going to give anybody any bulletin-board material, but I was pleased with our approach and our focus, and I think we can play with anybody in (the Northern 4A).

“You just have to tip your cap to Reno.”

Carson……………………..000 000 0 – 0 4 2
Reno……………………….002 002 x – 4 3 0
Caron, Lalarius (6) and Greenlee; Luippold and Thomson. WP – Luippold (1 BB, 8K). LP – Caron (5 BB, 2K).
HR – Rice (R ). 2B – Greenlee (C ). RBI – Rice (R ) 2, Brown (R ) 1, Dankworth (R ) 1. Hits – Schlange, Hein, Fagan, Greenlee (C); Rice, Brown, Dankworth (R).

I just assumed it was a brand new season

Reno blitzes Douglas, sweeps Sierra League doubleheader

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Posted: 4/30/2006

John Rice and Bryan Carano knew they had a lot of help Saturday at Douglas High.

“Pitching for this team is easy,” said Rice after the Reno Huskies’ 11-1 and 11-3 doubleheader sweep over the Douglas Tigers. “When you are out there on the mound you know you can relax because you know you are going to get a lot of run support.”

Rice and Carano, the Huskies’ doubleheader starters, combined to allow just three runs and five hits in 82/3 innings. The Huskies scored nine runs in the first game while Rice (four innings) was on the mound and seven in the second game for Carano (42/3 innings).

“I love pitching for this team,” said Carano, who retired the first nine Tiger hitters. “I just know they’re going to score runs. It makes me want to go out there and put up zeroes on the board.”

Reno scored in 10 of the 14 innings in the doubleheader and never trailed all day. The Huskies had four three-run innings and one five-run outburst in the second inning of the first game.

“This team is really into unity and that’s how we played today,” Rice said. “Everybody hit well today. Even some guys came off the bench and got some big hits. Everybody kind of feeds off each other.”

Rice led the way with two hits in both games. He had two run-scoring doubles in the first game and tripled and doubled in the second game. He also walked and scored three runs in the second game.

“He’s done that all year for us,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “He’s obviously a very good player. He really had some good, quality at-bats today.”

He wasn’t the only one. Leadoff hitter Trevor Zaldain had three hits and scored three runs in the two games, shortstop Davis Banks had two doubles, a triple and drove in four runs in the second game, third baseman Alex Gardner homered to open the scoring in the first game and Max Marin had three hits.

“Give them credit,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “They got the big hits when they needed them. They are just a very, very good team. They are good in all phases of the game. And they deserve this. They work extremely hard.”

Rice battled through some control problems in the first game, allowing five walks. The right-hander, though, pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third by retiring the Tigers’ No. 2-3-4 hitters without a run scoring.

“He had some trouble with his control, but he got out of trouble,” Savage said. “That was good to see.”

“I felt real good out there,” said Rice, who also fanned four. “But it’s good knowing you have all that run support.”

Glen Wallace relieved Rice and pitched three scoreless innings to close out the first-game victory. The sophomore struck out seven and allowed just one hit.

“He hasn’t had a lot of chances to pitch for us this year because our starters have done so well,” Savage said. “So he was real ready to pitch today. And he did a real nice job.”

Control also got Carano in trouble in the second game. After mowing down the first nine Tiger hitters, Carano hit a batter and walked two in the fourth. Douglas, though, scored just one run in the inning (on a Carano balk) despite having the bases loaded with no outs.

“We had the bases loaded with no outs today twice and the only time we scored was on a balk,” Glover said. “We have to start getting key hits in those situations.”

Rice and Banks keyed the Reno offense in the second game. The two seniors had back-to-back triples in the first inning and back-to-back doubles in the sixth.

“We just had a real good approach at the plate as a team today,” said Savage, whose Huskies are now 18-0 in the Sierra League and 26-4 overall.

Douglas is in third place in the Sierra at 12-6 and 16-13 overall with one week left in the regular season. The top four teams in the Sierra and High Desert League will qualify for the Northern 4A Regional in two weeks.

“It was just real frustrating today,” Glover said. “At the end of the year you want to play well and build some momentum. We need to find a way to bounce back.”

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Zach Thomson recognized for excellence

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Zach ThomsonSenior Zach Thomson has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Student-Athletes of 2006 by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA).

Both the NIAA and Lifetouch Photography honor the top 10 student-athletes in Northern Nevada with a banquet and scholarship. He has received this award from his hard work in the classroom and on the football and baseball fields.

According to, “special consideration was given by the judges to those student-athletes who participated in multiple sports, school activities (government, clubs, etc.) and community service projects while maintaining a high academic status within their school. The NIAA considers this awards program to be its most important of the year.”


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