Archive for May, 2012


Congratulations to the 2012 Huskies

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

This season provided many smiles from your #1 fans, big and small.

Reno Huskies Fans

“Success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

– John Wooden

High school state baseball: Reno falls just short in late losers’ bracket game

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 19, 2012

In a game that ended just short of midnight, the clock finally struck a final chime for the Reno High baseball team’s dramatic stay at the 4A state tournament.

The Huskies, playing in their third one-run game in two days, staged a dramatic comeback before coming up short against Coronado, 9-8, in an elimination game Friday night at Peccole Park.

Coronado advances to face Bishop Gorman for the state championship Saturday at 3 p.m. The Cougars, who lost to Reno on Thursday, will need to beat the Gaels twice to claim the state title. Despite both teams being from Las Vegas, they have not faced each other this season.

Coronado sprinted to a 7-1 lead through three and a half innings in Friday’s elimination game, with Cody Howard’s three-run homer in the second inning providing the biggest impact.

Reno put together an improbable fifth-inning rally, though, scoring five runs after the Huskies’ first two batters were easily put out. Ninth-place hitter Tyler McElroy had the key hit in the rally, a two-run triple.

The Huskies later took their first lead of the game with two runs on just a single hit in the fifth. That 8-7 advantage was quickly erased, however, when Coronado scored two runs of its own in the sixth. Chandler Blanchard’s home run tied the score at 8 and swung the momentum back toward the Cougars.

Coronado won despite committing four errors. In the Cougars’ loss to Reno on Thursday, they had five errors.

4A state baseball: Scrappy Huskies stay alive

Friday, May 18th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 18, 2012

The Reno High baseball team showed last week it could win a big game with a devastating single inning. Thursday at Peccole Park, it showed it could win by scrapping for every base and taking advantage of any opportunity.

The Huskies’ reward? A date today against six-time defending champion Bishop Gorman in the 4A state tournament winners’ bracket final.

Reno advanced Thursday with a hard-fought, 6-5 win over Coronado in a game with enough twists and turns to build a roller-coaster.

“We played good defense, and we got good pitching from (starter Vinnie) Koci and (reliever Austin) Atkerson,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “I think Gorman is a good, quality ballclub, and we have a ton of respect for them. But our focus is to play against the game itself and to execute against the game. We can only worry about the players in our dugout.”

After using a three-run fifth inning to take a 5-4 lead — a rally that included two bunts, a wild pitch, an error and a walk — the Huskies had to hold on in the top of the seventh. Reno was clinging to a 6-4 lead with no outs and the bases loaded before Atkerson entered and took advantage of his team’s strong defense. A double play and a grounder to the shortstop ended the game and set the Huskies up for a date with the nationally ranked Gaels.

High school baseball: Reno, McQueen know path to state title is through Gorman

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 16, 2012

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Bishop Gorman is the tournament favorite.

Yes, the Gaels enter this week’s 4A baseball state tournament as the team with the best shot at hoisting the hardware on Saturday. No surprise there.

It’s been eight years since the North won a 4A baseball state championship. Gorman, the country’s preseason No. 1 team now ranked No. 5 in the latest USA Today poll, is in search of its seventh straight state championship.

Do Reno High, the last North team to win it all back in 2004, and McQueen have a shot?

“To be honest, we’re embracing the challenge,” said McQueen coach Carlos Madrid, whose Lancers take on Gorman this afternoon at Peccole Park. “We know the past few years Vegas has owned this tournament. So, they’re going to come in confident. Maybe we can capitalize on that and upset someone if they’re overconfident.

“We know we have a tough challenge ahead of us. But we’re going to come in confident, too. Hopefully, I don’t end up eating my words.”

If Gorman claims the title, it would mark the second time in three years the Gaels swept the three major boys sports in one year. The football and basketball teams won their championships earlier this year by a combined 89 points.

Gorman coach Nick Day said before the season this year’s team might be the best the school has had. Better than the previous six that went a combined 230-23?

“Probably,” Day admitted of his team that features five Division-I signees.

The Lancers get first crack at Gorman, which had to come back through the losers’ bracket to win the Sunset Regional last week, as a result of taking second in the Northern Regional. McQueen won the Northern 4A regular-season title but lost twice to Reno last week.

Madrid will send ace Christian Stolo to the mound to face a team hitting .440 and averaging 12 runs per game.

“I have a lot of confidence in Christian, and our team plays very confidently when he’s on the mound,” Madrid said of his senior left-hander.

Stolo had a 2.26 ERA and 46 strikeouts in league play this season.

“I’m just going to go with the same game plan as usual,” Stolo said. “We’re expecting to compete with them. We know we can compete with anybody.

“This (state tournament) is what we’ve been thinking about since Little League. We’ve wanted it our whole high school careers.”

For Reno, which opens the tournament against Sunrise Region champion Coronado after claiming the Northern Region title and top seed last week, coach Pete Savage knows any road to the program’ssixth state championship will likely go through Gorman. But that is not where the Huskies’ focus lies.

“We have a lot of respect for Gorman and that program. But that’s not who we’re thinking about,” Savage said. “We’re focused on us. We don’t worry about anyone else. We’ve hammered home to the kids to execute against the pitch. We’re playing against the game. We have to execute against the pitch, whether you’re throwing it or facing it at the plate.”

Northern 4A Regional baseball championship: 9-run third pushes Reno to title

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May. 13, 2012

For the first two and a half innings of Saturday’s Northern 4A Regional championship game at Bishop Manogue, the Reno High and McQueen baseball teams circled each other like wary boxers looking for an opening.

Then Reno landed a haymaker in the bottom of the third.

The Huskies sent 12 batters to the plate in the third — nine before an out had been recorded — and circled the bases in dizzying fashion, scoring nine runs on eight hits and two walks. Two innings later, Reno played for just a single run and ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule when Grant Kukuk singled to score pinch runner Chad Savage from third to give the Huskies a 10-0 win and the regional title.“Our guys competed hard in the box, and we got some breaks and took advantage of some opportunities,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “Every base is important, especially in a playoff game, where you never know what run or what base is going to be important.

McQueen is a team that is very talented, and we respect them. They are a dangerous and talented ballclub. So I was proud of the way our guys competed and kept competing.”When Saturday’s game began, it looked like it was McQueen that might get in the first punch. Reno starting pitcher Vinnie Koci found himself in trouble early, giving up a leadoff single to Nick Agliolo and later watching Anthony Calton reach first base on a dropped third strike. But Agliolo was gunned down by Reno catcher Kevin Wallace on a steal attempt and a later walk issued to Kody Reynolds ended up doing no damage. In all, McQueen had four baserunners in the first, with only one reaching second base.

“I have a great defense behind me, so I knew my teammates would help me out and we could get out of it,” Koci said. “I was just trying to throw strikes and let my defense take care of things and make plays.”

Koci settled into a rhythm after his first-inning adventure, retiring the side in order in the final four innings. Pitcher Logan Comphel was the only McQueen hitter to reach base in that span — on a sharp infield one-hopper in the third — and he was quickly picked off.

“Baseball is a game that teaches you adversity and how to overcome adversity, and he was able to do that,” Savage said of Koci. “He got out of that with no runs, and when you can minimize the damage like that when they have guys in scoring position, that’s just good pitching.”

McQueen, the Northern 4A regular-season champion, was unable to respond in like fashion when the wheels began to come off in the third. After Kukuk was intentionally walked to load the bases with the score still at 0-0, Reno’s R.J. Bush began the scoring parade with an RBI single that plated leadoff hitter Garrett Hampson. From there, the Huskies could seemingly do no wrong, reaching base on a variety of hits, another walk and even a bunt single.“We were in it, but I think we got a little complacent,” McQueen coach Carlos Madrid said. “This is kind of rare territory for McQueen to be in, with a state berth already in order, and I feel like a lot of our guys were able to accept that instead of pushing and striving for more. Once it started to hit the fan, we didn’t know how to respond to that.” , and Reno is a good team that makes a living off putting pressure on teams.”

Both teams qualified for next weekend’s 4A state tournament at Peccole Park. The Huskies will open Thursday against Sunrise Region champion Coronado; the Lancers will face Sunset Region winner and six-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman.

For the first two and a half innings of Saturday’s Northern 4A Regional championship game at Bishop Manogue, the Reno High and McQueen baseball teams circled each other like wary boxers looking for an opening.

Then Reno landed a haymaker in the bottom of the third.

The Huskies sent 12 batters to the plate in the third — nine before an out had been recorded — and circled the bases in dizzying fashion, scoring nine runs on eight hits and two walks. Two innings later, Reno played for just a single run and ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule when Grant Kukuk singled to score pinch runner Chad Savage from third to give the Huskies a 10-0 win and the regional title.

“Our guys competed hard in the box, and we got some breaks and took advantage of some opportunities,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “Every base is important, especially in a playoff game, where you never know what run or what base is going to be important. McQueen is a team that is very talented, and we respect them. They are a dangerous and talented ballclub. So I was proud of the way our guys competed and kept competing.”

When Saturday’s game began, it looked like it was McQueen that might get in the first punch. Reno starting pitcher Vinnie Koci found himself in trouble early, giving up a leadoff single to Nick Agliolo and later watching Anthony Calton reach first base on a dropped third strike. But Agliolo was gunned down by Reno catcher Kevin Wallace on a steal attempt and a later walk issued to Kody Reynolds ended up doing no damage. In all, McQueen had four baserunners in the first, with only one reaching second base.

“I have a great defense behind me, so I knew my teammates would help me out and we could get out of it,” Koci said. “I was just trying to throw strikes and let my defense take care of things and make plays.”Koci settled into a rhythm after his first-inning adventure, retiring the side in order in the final four innings. Pitcher Logan Comphel was the only McQueen hitter to reach base in that span — on a sharp infield one-hopper in the third — and he was quickly picked off.

“Baseball is a game that teaches you adversity and how to overcome adversity, and he was able to do that,” Savage said of Koci. “He got out of that with no runs, and when you can minimize the damage like that when they have guys in scoring position, that’s just good pitching.”

McQueen, the Northern 4A regular-season champion, was unable to respond in like fashion when the wheels began to come off in the third. After Kukuk was intentionally walked to load the bases with the score still at 0-0, Reno’s R.J. Bush began the scoring parade with an RBI single that plated leadoff hitter Garrett Hampson. From there, the Huskies could seemingly do no wrong, reaching base on a variety of hits, another walk and even a bunt single.“We were in it, but I think we got a little complacent,” McQueen coach Carlos Madrid said. “This is kind of rare territory for McQueen to be in, with a state berth already in order, and I feel like a lot of our guys were able to accept that instead of pushing and striving for more. Once it started to hit the fan, we didn’t know how to respond to that.” , and Reno is a good team that makes a living off putting pressure on teams.”Both teams qualified for next weekend’s 4A state tournament at Peccole Park. The Huskies will open Thursday against Sunrise Region champion Coronado; the Lancers will face Sunset Region winner and six-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman.

 

2012 Huskies Win Regional Championship

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Congratulations to the 2012 Reno Huskies for their Regional Championship:

 

Northern 4A Regional baseball: Reno gets redemption, spot in state tournament

Friday, May 11th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 11, 2012

The Reno High baseball team’s luck finally changed for the better against McQueen on Thursday, as the Huskies took a 3-1 victory in the Northern 4A Regional at Bishop Manogue.After losing three in a row to the top-seeded Lancers during the regular season, the second-seeded Huskies were due for a few breaks, and the win earned Reno entrance into Saturday’s tournamnt championhip as well as next week’s 4A state tournament.

“It’s a great honor and relief, but it means even more to get it by beating McQueen,” Reno pitcher Austin Atkerson said. “It makes it a little sweeter. The first three don’t matter if you win the last one.”The Huskies’ good fortune started in the top of the first inning, when first baseman R.J. Bush hit a pop fly to left field that should have been an easy third out. A mixture of sun glare and swirling wind caused the catch to slip away from left fielder Rob Higley, and the Huskies jumped to a 1-0 lead on the play.

“That’s just baseball,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “I think you can talk about ‘what ifs’ in any baseball game, so I’m just proud of our guys’ effort.”McQueen’s lone run came inthe bottom of the second, when catcher Alex Bentley doubled just out of the reach of a diving Zach Paquette in center field.Reno seemed destined to win when shortstop Garrett Hampson hit a double that fell just outside the glove of McQueen right fielder Nate Gadsby in the top of the sixth.It didn’t count as an error, but had Gadsby played the ball differently, it could have been the first out of the inning. Instead, Hampson scored when Bush hit a grounder through the hole into right field to give Reno a 2-1 lead.

“They just came out and played better than us,” Lancers coach Carlos Madrid said. “That was it. My guys weren’t ready for today’s game, and I’m not sure if they thought Reno was going to roll over because we beat them a couple of times throughout the year. But just like a Pete Savage-coached team, they come out ready to play, especially in big games.”

It all started with Atkerson. The Huskies’ pitcher struck out five and allowed two hits and one walk in going the distance. He also snatched a hard-hit ground ball to his left and threw to first for the first out during the bottom of the seventh inning

The Reno High baseball team’s luck finally changed for the better against McQueen on Thursday, as the Huskies took a 3-1 victory in the Northern 4A Regional at Bishop Manogue.
After losing three in a row to the top-seeded Lancers during the regular season, the second-seeded Huskies were due for a few breaks, and the win earned Reno entrance into Saturday’s tournamnt championhip as well as next week’s 4A state tournament.

“It’s a great honor and relief, but it means even more to get it by beating McQueen,” Reno pitcher Austin Atkerson said. “It makes it a little sweeter. The first three don’t matter if you win the last one.”

The Huskies’ good fortune started in the top of the first inning, when first baseman R.J. Bush hit a pop fly to left field that should have been an easy third out. A mixture of sun glare and swirling wind caused the catch to slip away from left fielder Rob Higley, and the Huskies jumped to a 1-0 lead on the play.

“That’s just baseball,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “I think you can talk about ‘what ifs’ in any baseball game, so I’m just proud of our guys’ effort.”

McQueen’s lone run came inthe bottom of the second, when catcher Alex Bentley doubled just out of the reach of a diving Zach Paquette in center field.

Reno seemed destined to win when shortstop Garrett Hampson hit a double that fell just outside the glove of McQueen right fielder Nate Gadsby in the top of the sixth.

It didn’t count as an error, but had Gadsby played the ball differently, it could have been the first out of the inning. Instead, Hampson scored when Bush hit a grounder through the hole into right field to give Reno a 2-1 lead.

“They just came out and played better than us,” Lancers coach Carlos Madrid said. “That was it. My guys weren’t ready for today’s game, and I’m not sure if they thought Reno was going to roll over because we beat them a couple of times throughout the year. But just like a Pete Savage-coached team, they come out ready to play, especially in big games.”

It all started with Atkerson. The Huskies’ pitcher struck out five and allowed two hits and one walk in going the distance.He also snatched a hard-hit ground ball to his left and threw to first for the first out during the bottom of the seventh inning

 

Northern 4A Regional: Reno baseball rallies past Damonte to advance

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 9, 2012

A little drama never hurt anyone. At least that is the stance the Reno High baseball team is taking these playoffs.

A day after the second-seeded Huskies needed two comebacks to get out of the Northern 4A Regional first round, they again had to come from behind.Garrett Hampson had three hits and R.J. Bush homered and pitched scoreless relief as the Huskies got past visiting Damonte Ranch, 9-7, on Wednesday and are now one win from a state tournament berth.

Reno will face top-seeded McQueen at 4 p.m. today at Bishop Manogue, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game. The regional’s top two teams advance to next week’s state tournament.

“We haven’t even played our best baseball yet. When we do that we’ll just come out and beat teams and won’t make it so interesting all the time,” Bush said.McQueen won all three head-to-head meetings during the regular season.“It’s all about redemption and winning at the right time,” Bush said. “The regular season is over. It’s all about winning right now.”

McQueen eased its way into the winners-bracket final, while Reno had to rally for its two victories.

“Our team showed a lot of heart and character the last couple days,” Huskies coach Pete Savage said.Reno also was the beneficiary of four Damonte errors Wednesday. Four of the Huskies’ final six runs were unearned.“We just made a few too many mistakes on the defensive side of the ball and that was the difference in the game,” Mustangs coach Jon Polson said. “I’m super proud of our offensive effort and I thought we pitched well enough. We just have to clean up defense a little bit. That was the difference in the ballgame. … Against a good team like Reno High, you have to take care of the baseball.”

The sixth-seeded Mustangs, fresh off their flawless first-round upset of third-seeded Manogue, jumped on Reno starter Grant Kukuk and built a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the third.Bush capped Reno’s three-run third with a two-run home run to right.

“We fight. We’ve fought all year. Everybody is so competitive on this team is what it boils down to,” Bush said. “It was a total turn in momentum when that happened. You could tell all the energy had kind of been sucked out of them and came over to our side. Once that happened, we knew we were going to win.”

The Huskies took the lead with four unearned runs in the fourth.Damonte tied it at 7 on Kyle Bailey’s three-run homer in the fifth before Reno scored one run each in the fifth and sixth.Bush did not allow a hit in his 2 1/3 innings of relief to earn the win.“It was one of those games where you just had to keep battling,” Savage said. “(Today) is going to be the same. We have to take it one pitch at a time.”Damonte will face Carson in an elimination game at 1 p.m. at Carson.

 

Baseball: No clear favorite as 4A postseason opens

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
POSTED: May 8, 2012

Prepare for some fireworks in this week’s Northern 4A Region baseball tournament. The top three teams beat up each other during the regular season, and the lower-seeded teams have the confidence and makeup to pull off the upset.

As a result, top-seeded McQueen (17-3) won’t be a clear-cut favorite going into today’s four first-round games at the higher-seeded schools. Second-seeded Reno (16-4) has beaten third-seeded Bishop Manogue (15-5) twice this season, but the Miners knocked off the Lancers two times, limiting them to three combined runs in the two games.

“The top three teams are all anyone’s guess,” McQueen coach Carlos Madrid said. “ (Bishop) Manogue has three very good juniors, as well as a very consistent supporting cast behind their three main guys. I feel like their starting pitching will be a huge advantage for them in this tournament.

“Reno is Reno, and how well can you really ‘handle’ Reno?

“Yes, we’ve done a good job against them so far, but this is a whole new season, and we all know that a Pete Savage-coached team, as well as Charles Oppio-coached team, is going to be prepared for the bright lights of regionals.”

Manogue coach Oppio said the depth of the league should make for an interesting postseason tournament.

“The whole league’s good,” he said. “We can beat anybody, and anybody can beat us.”

McQueen begins the double-elimination tournament against eighth-seeded Douglas, which outlasted defending regional champion Spanish Springs for the final postseason berth. The Tigers played McQueen nearly even in their two regular-season games, losing 1-0 and 7-6.

“Douglas is a huge concern for us,” Madrid said. “We only won the first game because (McQueen’s) player of the year Christian Stolo threw a no-hitter.

“They are a young, talented, scrappy, hungry team that is looking to make a statement by beating the No. 1 team.”

Stolo and Anthony Calton are the spark plugs on a senior-laden McQueen club. Calton led the league with a .542 batting and .983 slugging averages and has four home runs and a league-best 32 runs scored this spring. Stolo has been McQueen’s most dependable pitcher, leading the league in record (6-0) and complete games (four). He also posted a 1.97 earned run average and recorded 57 strikeouts in 39 innings.

The Lancers, however, have steamrolled the competition in the weeks leading up to regionals, routing Spanish Springs, 10-0, and North Valleys, 13-0 and 21-6. But Madrid is expecting to run into a more well-rounded club in Douglas.

“They have good pitching, and their hitters do a good job at putting the ball in play and applying pressure to the other team’s defense,” Madrid said. “It should be a very tough game for us.”

The McQueen-Douglas winner will advance to play the Carson-Galena survivor on Wednesday.

Reno opens the tournament against Reed (9-11), a club the Huskies handily defeated in two meetings, 9-2 and 10-0, on May 1 and 2.

Manogue gave the Lancers the most trouble among the top teams. Manogue owns 4-3 and 6-0 wins over McQueen, but has struggled against the Huskies, losing two of three games. If Reno and Manogue win their opening-round games, they will meet Wednesday at Reno.

“They are not on our radar right now,” Oppio said of the Lancers and Huskies. “We have such a tough game (today).”

Manogue first must get past Damonte Ranch (10-10), which upset the Miners during a two-game series last week. The Mustangs won 5-3, then dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker the following day.

Left-hander Patrick Wolfe is expected to start for the Mustangs, attempting to duplicate his big win over the Miners last time out. Behind Wolfe’s three-hit, seven-strikeout performance, the Mustangs ended the Miners’ 28-game home winning streak.

“He’s one of the best in our league,” Oppio said. “We have our work cut out for us.”

The Miners are led by junior pitcher Devonte German (4-1, 1.42 ERA), who has 76 strikeouts in 54 innings. German, who also is batting .427, is one of five Manogue juniors who started last year when the team went to the regional finals. Junior M.J. Farthing leads the Miners in hitting with a .439 average.

The eight teams in the Northern regional are playing for two spots in the state tournament May 17-19 at Peccole Park.

Games today and Wednesday are at the higher seeds before the tournament shifts to Bishop Manogue and Carson high schools on Thursday, then finishes at Manogue on Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s finale is set for noon and a second game will follow if necessary.

 

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