Unfortunately for Sparks, that didn’t mean either game resulted in a win. The host Railroaders dropped both games. They lost 9-2 to Fallon and 7-4 to Lassen.
In the first game of the day, Sparks kept it close with the Greenwave, hanging in a 2-2 tie after the fifth inning. The Railroaders' two runs came in the fifth after senior pitcher Martin Jordan took two bases on a wild pitch. The Railroaders scored their first run when junior Brandon Harris smacked a single into the outfield to bring in the runner. Junior Cody McClelland was brought home with the help of another wild pitch.
Then a sixth-inning disaster came. The Greenwave offense came alive to the tune of seven runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a three-run home run.
Sparks pitcher Tyler Dresbach threw a solid first five innings, but he was beat up in the sixth.
"Our pitchers threw well today," said Sparks coach Greg Vasko. “We just made mistakes. We played hard and our defense was pretty solid until that one bad inning. But, it’s a preseason tournament and we’re still trying to come out of our shell. There are still lots of things we need to work on but there is always tomorrow in baseball.”
In Sparks' second game of the day, against the Lassen Grizzlies of Susanville, Sparks was more competitive but fell victim to another disastrous inning in which it gave up five runs in the fifth inning.
Sparks took the lead at 2-1 in the fourth after sophomore Kiefer Putman popped the ball up deep into right field to drive a run home.
Grizzlies’ junior Adam Miranda began the fifth by belting a home run over the center-field fence. Three of the next four runs for Lassen were driven in thanks to the help of errors by the Railroaders.
Trevor Baum was able to safely touch home plate after he successfully escaped a pickle and senior CJ Houghland scored immediately after that when a pass to Putman at first base was badly overthrown. The score after the fifth was 6-2 in favor of Lassen.
Sparks senior Kirk Putman and Dresbach drove in a couple more runs for the Railroaders but the local squad couldn’t come back in the seventh and final inning.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team," Vasko said. “We made some mistakes today that they capitalized on. That’s the game; sometimes you’re on this side and other times you’re on the other side. I want to get on the other side real soon.”
Sparks has started its season slowly by going 0-3. It will try to find itself on the winning side of the scoreboard Saturday against Fernley. The first pitch will be at 11 a.m. at SHS.