Douglas Prevails Late In District Battle With Monarch
Weather issues forced Wednesday’s 9A-11 contest between Monarch and host Douglas to halt action with a tied score in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, then held the Knights at bay in the seventh to claim a 4-1 victory.
Douglas improves to 5-1 overall and starts district play with a 1-0 mark. The Eagles also won their eleventh straight district contest dating back to the 2014 season.
It was not the most ideal scenario to have to restart a day later in a tied district game. With only nine outs remaining for each team to try to end it without needing extra innings, the margin of error was incredibly small.
“It worked out in our favor,” Douglas manager Todd Fitz-Gerald said. “The kids came out today with a different mindset and a better mental approach. It was kind of a three-day game because of the weather, which was not great for either team. They capitalized on a mistake by us and Joey Hennessey had an RBI single early on for them. We were able to tie it up, but then the lightning alarm sounded.”
Colton Welker got things started with a leadoff single in the sixth. Chad McDaniel reached on an error to follow and Jonathan Pino advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Monarch (2-1-1, 0-1) elected to intentionally walk John McKenna to try and set up the double play or the force-out at home. When Spencer Dubay grounded to first the throw went home as planned, but Welker was able to score on the play. Jordan Hill then delivered the knockout blow when he lined a single past the drawn-in defense to plate two more runners.
Brady Norris worked around a single surrendered to Nick Gutierrez to shut the door and earn the save. Starter Jesus Luzardo got the win, as he was still the pitcher of record after having thrown the first six innings on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m glad we were able to get the win for him,” Fitz-Gerald said of his ace, Luzardo. “He worked hard to keep us in the game and he deserved the win.”