The Cougars knocked off the North Valleys Panthers on their NVHS home turf, 18-6, in a Northern 4A tilt.
Since Spanish Springs fell down by three runs in the bottom of the second inning, it’s safe to say that part of this team’s identity is starting slowly and roaring ahead in later innings. Wednesday's win marked the fifth time in seven league games the Cougars have faced a deficit but come back to win.
The Cougars fell behind 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning after senior Kendall Murphy overthrew first base. The error cost the Cougars two runs.
But SSHS got to work in the third inning and got back all three of the runs after Murphy and senior Tanner Oates each had an RBI single. Soonafter, senior Jake Bray touched home plate as a result of a balk committed by North Valleys’ pitcher Mauricio Varela.
The Panthers put up another three runs in the bottom of the third but that would be the end of their scoring for the day.
North Valleys’ lead began to be chipped away as Spanish Springs trimmed the lead to 6-5 after Cougars junior Shane Lawson blasted a two-run home run.
Murphy tied the game at 6-6 in the fifth inning when he hit a single into the outfield to bring in a run. Senior Kyle Clark gave the Cougars the lead with another RBI single. Lawson ended the inning with a two-RBI double. The score at that point had reached 9-6 in favor of Spanish Springs.
The Cougars put up nine more runs in the last two innings to put away the Panthers. SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann was happy for the win but he knows the slow starts will eventually come back to haunt the team.
“We’re a patient group, which is good, “Hofmann said. “But at some point we’re going to play a team that is better than us and maybe it will come back to bite us.
But as long as it’s working, he won’t change it.
“I told our guys that if this is what we’re going to do, then I’m OK with it, “he said. “As long as we have good at-bats, and play the game the right way, then we’ll let baseball take care of itself.”
Spanish Spring will host Galena today in a rematch of Tuesday’s battle. The first pitch will be at 3:45 p.m.