Bishop Gorman baseball coach Nick Day has been the beneficiary of many big offensive innings this season, so it did not come as a surprise when his team scored eight runs in the first inning on Sunday.
The third-seeded Titans rolled from there to log a 12-2 seven-inning victory over No. 6 Reno in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament at UNLV’s Wilson Stadium.
Despite giving up a first-inning run, Gorman starter Jack Little recovered to go the distance, allowing just three hits while striking out 10.
“Jack’s as good as it gets,” Day said. “When he keeps the ball down and throws strikes, he’s real tough to hit.”
Little had plenty of room for error after his teammates made the most of seven hits and two walks in a first inning highlighted by Myles Denson’s two-run double. Reno starter Matt Lawn was pulled after retiring just one batter while giving up the first seven runs.
But Knights reliever Matt Young stifled Gorman’s bats over the next three innings.
“It was nice to get all those runs after giving up one in the first,” Day said. “But then we started relaxing, and that’s dangerous. To me, it’s just concentration. You try to find a way to get the guys to concentrate all the time.”
That focus returned with a leadoff double by Matt Hudgins and an RBI single by Daniel Edson in the fifth inning to put the Titans ahead 9-1.
Reno (34-14-2) got a run back in the sixth, but the Titans (34-9-2) capped a three-run seventh with Grant Robbins’ two-out RBI single to employ the 10-run rule.
“It was nice to get those last runs,” Day said “It allowed us to save some pitching.”
Robbins went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Hudgins added two doubles for the Titans.
Liberty 5, Durango 2 — The second-seeded Patriots (25-6) used a big third inning to defeat seventh-seeded Post 76 (37-38).
Liberty took control in the third inning, scoring runs on a sacrifice fly by Preston Palvica, a single by winning pitcher Daniel Skelly, and a wild pitch to go ahead 4-1.
The Patriots got an insurance run in the eighth, and reliever Chris Bradford escaped a ninth-inning jam to earn the save.
James Martz went 2-for-3 with a double to lead the Patriots.