Sparks lost 3-1 to the Vaqueros and remains winless on this young season.
Morelli went a full seven innings and struck out 10 batters. Although he was keeping the Fernley offense down with his fastballs, the rest of the team only managed to give him one run on five total hits for support.
“Dennis threw outstanding today,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “It’s a shame he has to lose a game in which he pitched so well but we didn’t give him any run support. And the mistakes, they kill you. But we’re going to learn from our mistakes and get better.”
As it turns out, Morelli drove in the Railroaders’ only run of the day. His bunt down the first base line helped senior Leonel Abundis touch home plate in the first inning for the local club’s only run of the day.
The hitters from Sparks had their opportunities. But base-running mistakes such as trying to steal one too many bases in the third inning, or getting a bad jump in the fifth, robbed Sparks of any chance to bring in more runs. Vasko said the Vaqueros’ catcher did a great job of throwing out runners.
Two of Fernley’s three runs were the result of Sparks miscues. A wild pitch brought in one and an overthrown first-baseman in the seventh inning was the cause of the other.
The Railroaders’ final chance to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning was quick. Three batters stepped up to the plate, and three batters were retired.
“We have to work on hitting. 0-2, 3-2 pitches because we looked at a lot of pitches for strike three, “ Vasko said. “We have to work on getting the ball in play so we can have opportunities to move runners around.”
Sparks (0-4) has a week to work on those things until it visits Incline March 19.