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Spanish Springs 11s earn regional berth
by Tribune Staff
Jul 16, 2013 | 1307 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Mason Whitaker (#7) leads his Spanish Springs Cal Ripken all-star teammates on a run during the team's practice Wednesday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Mason Whitaker (#7) leads his Spanish Springs Cal Ripken all-star teammates on a run during the team's practice Wednesday night.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Tyler Eastland, a member of the Spanish Springs Cal Ripken 11u all-stars, got down and dirty during sliding drills at the local team's Wednesday evening practice.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Tyler Eastland, a member of the Spanish Springs Cal Ripken 11u all-stars, got down and dirty during sliding drills at the local team's Wednesday evening practice.
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Like their counterparts in the 12- and 8-year-old divisions, the Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League 11u all-star team captured a state title in Fallon and earned a berth into the next week's regional tournament.

The local squad racked up five straight wins to capture the state crown. Last Thursday, Spanish Springs beat Silver State and Fallon by scores of 14-2 and 14-5 respectively. A day later, in the second round of pool play, Spanish Springs again beat Silver State, 10-6 and Fallon, 14-2.

Then, in Sunday's elimination bracket play, Silver State beat Fallon, earning the right to again meet Spanish Springs, this time in the championship game. The result was the same, another lopsided Spanish Springs triumph. The Sparks-area club rolled to a 9-0 win in the title tilt.

Three Spanish Springs pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout. Nate Hutson captured the win on the hill. He worked the first three innings, allowing two hits while striking out three and walking one. Mason Whitaker went to the mound next and turned in two scoreless innings of relief. His line was similar to Hutson's -- no hits, three K's and one walk. Colby Durski came on in the sixth and fired a perfect inning with two strikeouts.

"We pitched really well through the whole tournament," Spanish Springs coach Brad Durski said. "It was phenomenal, a team strength and we had great defense too."

After failing to score in the first inning, the Spanish Springs offense went to work in the second. Alex Van Dyne walked and Morgan Moreno reached on an error. They both scored on a triple by Hutson, who crossed the plate soon after on an RBI single by Durski.

The 3-0 margin remained intact until the fourth when Spanish Springs exploded for five runs. Three straight singles, by Van Dyne, Moreno and Hutson started the rally. The trio all came around to score. Later in the frame, Ryan Lujan and Jake Galletti also singled and scored.

Spanish Springs added its final run in the top of the fifth. With one out, Moreno singled. A pair of wild pitches moved him around to third and a Durski single plated Moreno.

The Spanish Springs offense banged out 12 hits in the championship game victory, but Coach Durski said there's still room for improvement.

"At times, out hitting is not where it needs to be. We've got more work to do there," the all-star skipper said.

Spanish Springs opens regional play July 23 in Vernal, Utah. It will play a doubleheader that day -- against the state champions from northern Utah (11 a.m.) and southern Calif. (7 p.m.). Durski said his team caravan will make the 11-plus hour drive to Vernal Sunday before settling in Monday for Opening Ceremonies and kicking off game action Tuesday.

"The rest of this week we'll practice," he said. "We must get better at executing when we have people on base. We left a lot of guys on the bases and we just can't do that. We really need to execute. It's going to get a lot more difficult."
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