Reynolds had several chances to beat Aloha, but came up empty in extra innings during a 5-4 loss to the Warriors in the first round of the Centennial woodbat tournament Friday, July 7.
Deadlocked at 4-4, the teams went to the rarely used international tiebreaker in extra innings, allowing each team to start with a base-runner at second base. Aloha relied on back-to-back bunts to break through in the ninth inning. Sam Cope dropped a well-placed chopper that forced Reynolds reliever Trevor Winsor to leave his feet, giving Aloha's Zak Kokesh enough time to score the winning run from third base.
'The key is to get the ball down and to keep it away from the pitcher,' Cope said. 'That ball found the perfect spot.'
Reynolds tried to answer in the bottom of the inning, moving pinch-runner Zarr Swanson to third base on a bunt by Cody Cook. But the Raiders couldn't put the ball in play again, as Aloha reliever Matt Morrison struck out the last two batters.
The Raiders kept Aloha scoreless in the eighth inning, highlighted when Swanson scooped up a grounder and threw to Zach Moore at third base to tag out the lead runner.
Reynolds was on the verge of victory when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the eight, but another series of strikeouts ended the threat.
'I was expecting one of our guys to put the ball in play, and that probably would have brought a run across,' Raiders' manager Kelly Larkin said. 'We just didn't make any kind of contact. We have to be more intense at the plate.'
Reynolds took a 4-1 lead midway through the game on a string of RBI-hits by Swanson, Justin Nomie and Scott Worthington. But Aloha tied the game with a three-run spurt in the fifth inning.
The Warriors threatened to end the game in regulation with a lead-off single in the seventh inning. But Reynolds closed the door on back-to-back strikeouts by Winsor, followed by a catch in left field by Brent Holbrook.