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Big inning lifts Reynolds past Sandy

by: Bill Wilson, Reynolds infielder John Cosby leaps into the air to avoid a base runner during the Raiders’ 12-5 win at the Firecracker tournament Saturday.

Thanks to a big inning, the Reynolds AAA Legion baseball team had no trouble getting past Sandy in its first pool-play game Saturday, July 1, in the Firecracker Classic at Lakeridge High School.

The Pioneers took a 4-1 lead in the second, but it was short-lived as the Raiders pounded out 10 runs in the bottom of the frame and went on to beat Sandy 12-5. The game ended in the middle of the fifth due to a time limit.

'We have been scoring a lot of runs recently,' Reynolds' shortstop Nick Prante said. 'But we haven't had a 10-run inning, so that was pretty exciting.'

The Raiders scored six runs before the Pioneers recorded an out and had seven hits in the inning, including three doubles. Reynolds also took advantage of a trio of Sandy errors and reached twice in the inning on strikeout pitches that ended up in the dirt.

Justin Nomie scored the first run on a wild pitch and Prante came home on a passed ball to make it 4-3. Trevor Winsor lined an RBI-single into left field to score Cody Ching and tie the game.

Kyle Pollack's single into center plated Cody Cook and Winsor also came home when the ball skipped past the center fielder, allowing Pollack to hustle to third.

Curtis Cosby followed with an RBI-double down the left field line for a 7-4 lead.

Sandy finally recorded an out on Reynolds' eighth batter of the inning, but Brent Holbrook kept things going by lining a single into right to score Cosby.

The Pioneers changed pitchers before the Raiders tacked on three more runs. Prante drove a two-run double into center field to plate Holbrook and Nomie.

Ching followed by crushing a shot into and through the top of the 20-foot fence in left-center for a ground-rule double and 11-4 lead.

Reynolds looked to do more damage by loading the bases, but Sandy center fielder Eugene Wright raced in for a sliding catch to end the frame.

'We started timing their pitchers as the game went on,' Prante said. 'That was a nice confidence booster. We've been on a roll and are starting to put it all together.'

Sandy opened with a run in the top of the first on Chris Houle's towering shot high off the left-field fence for an RBI-double.

An error helped Reynolds tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Trevor Winsor beat the shortstop's throw to start the inning, stole second and third before scoring on a groundout.

The Pioneers came back with three runs in the second. With the bases loaded, Reynolds booted a double-play ball, allowing the first run to score. Jake Cuniff sent a hard grounder past the diving shortstop for an RBI-single and another run came in on a sacrifice fly for a 4-1 lead.

Sandy managed a lone run in the fourth. Cuniff lined a single into the outfield and later scored when Elliott dropped a base hit into shallow left field.

The Raiders capped their scoring in the fourth on Pollack's single into left that scored Winsor, who hit a two-out double off the center-field fence before stealing third.

Results of Reynolds' final two pool-play games and Tuesday's placing game were not available as of Monday's holiday deadline.