Both times Douglas has gone up against Reno this season, coach Hal Wheeler leaves the field more and more impressed with the Huskies' Jeff Schoenbachler. It's hard not to.
Only a sophomore, Schoenbachler pitched a complete game shutout and struck out eight as Reno beat the Tigers 4-0 on Thursday night in a winner's bracket game in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament at Carson High's Ron McNutt.
"Schoenbachler is just a great pitcher," Wheeler said. "He dominated us tonight. He didn't give us anything."
The Huskies (30-3) are now only one win from advancing to their fourth consecutive zone championship game. They will play the Douglas-Galena winner tonight at 6 p.m. at Reno High's Zunini Field. The Tigers and Grizzlies play at 3 p.m. at Reno High in an elimination game. Galena (27-5) knocked off Elko 12-6 on Thursday at Carson High.
Schoenbachler, just like in Reno's 4-2 win on April 26, overshadowed a splendid performance by Darren Muren. Muren, who certainly pitched good enough to beat Schoenbachler and Reno, had a two-hitter going into the sixth. Once he got there, it ended.
Nik Kosach led off the inning with a single and Bobby Anguis and Jessie Weller had back-to-back RBI doubles as the Huskies led 3-0. Matt Jacobsen then replaced Muren and struck out the final two batters with the bases loaded to end the inning. But not before Weller ended up scoring on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the first, Reno's Brady Dolan opened the scoring with a solo home run.
Douglas had only two runners in scoring position the entire game. Schoenbachler retired the side in three of the seven innings. The Tigers (23-12) have to beat Galena and Reno today, then beat the Huskies again on Saturday to advance to the zone championship game.
"We're in a hole," Wheeler said. "We can get out of it, but everything will have to go right for us to do it. We have enough pitching depth. We're gonna' have to show up and be ready to play. They (Galena) aren't scary. But if we don't show up to play, they can beat us."