Already with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, Tim Epker stepped up to the plate to lead off the seventh and sat on a 1-1 pitch, belting it over the left-field fence for a game-winning solo shot.
Epker was 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the Cougars’ 6-5 Northern 4A league triumph.
“He really had a great day,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said of Epker. “He played defense really well. He’s the reason we’re where we’re at right now.”
Spanish Springs played from behind most of the game.
Epker’s RBI single in the third tied the game at 1-1, but the Senators rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth on the strength of RBI doubles by Nick Domitrovich and Dion Copoulos.
The Cougars cut the deficit to 4-2 with a solo homer by Chase Kittilsen in the bottom half of the inning.
Domitrovich put Carson ahead 5-2 with a run-scoring single in the fifth, but that was the last time the visitors scored.
Spanish Springs put together its own three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Epker launched a two-run homer, and two batters later, Jake Bray went yard with the bases empty to knot the game at 5-5, setting up the seventh-inning heroics by Epker.
“I wish we could get off to better starts. I’m a little concerned about our starts offensively, not so much our pitching and defense,” Hofmann said. “Offensively, we just need to find something to help us get into a groove early. But if it’s a choice between having them get hot early or hot late, I’d want them to be hot late.”
Chadd Little entered the game in relief in the fifth and picked up the pitching victory for the Purple and Silver.
The Cougars now sit at 9-0 overall and 4-0 in league play.
Spanish Springs will host North Valleys Thursday at 3:45 p.m., but Hofmann didn’t expect to still be undefeated this far into the season.
“Gracious no. We’re a senior-led team, so I expected us to be a very good team,” Hofmann said. “But 9-0, no I never thought we’d get to that point.”
Reed 9, Douglas 5
The Raiders also had to battle back from a deficit to knock off a league foe in-town Tuesday night.
Reed batted around the order in the bottom of the fifth to erase a 5-2 Tigers lead by using a six-run rally.
Beau Tittensor started the rally with a single and moved to third on a Ryan Butler base hit.
Following a Connor Cox base on balls, Roberto Velazquez singled home two runs. Jason Stroberg’s RBI fielder’s choice tied the game at 5-5.
Reed wasn’t done.
The Raiders took the lead for good when Tanner Parris doubled in the go-ahead run. Spencer Jones followed that up with a two-run bomb for an 8-5 Reed lead.
The Blue and Gold added a run in the sixth for the final margin.
In his first outing of the season, Jeff Copple worked 4 1-3 innings on the mound, scattering eight hits and allowing three earned runs. The left-hander struck out four and walked two in the win.
Butler and Parris both went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the home team.
“They tied it up and actually took the lead, but we came right back,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said. “That’s what I was most excited about. We found a way to battle back and I thought that was a positive step for us.”
Reed (3-5, 1-2) will try to finish up the season series with Douglas today in Minden. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.