Even the Cougars’ first two losses came in extra innings. But Tuesday was a first — no drama at all.
Reno was to blame for that. The Huskies completely dominated Spanish Springs behind starting pitcher Alex Graybar, who went the distance in the 6-1 Reno win. It was the Cougars’ third straight loss after starting the season with 12 victories.
“We didn’t hit and we didn’t play defense. I thought we pitched OK,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said. “They’re a pretty good ball club and to hold them to six runs. I think three of those were unearned. Defensively we were terrible, offensively not a lot better.”
Reno rapped out twice as many hits as the host Cougars, 10-5. But the Huskies got on three times as many base runners, 18-6.
It was a long day for the SSHS nine, despite the game lasting under an hour and 45 minutes. Even the innings in which Reno didn’t score turned into an adventure for the home team. The Huskies left the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings, but only needed one hit to saturate the sacks twice.
Reno came away empty handed in those innings but got all the runs it would need with a four-run third and two-run fourth.
In the top of the third, Zach Paquette got things going with a one-out single to left field. One of Spanish Springs’ four errors put runners on second and third for Tyler McElroy, who sliced a two-run double down the right-field line.
After a pop out in foul territory, Anthony Hascheff’s single drove in McElroy from second. Hascheff moved up to second when Kellen Richards was hit by a pitch. Grant Kukuk capped the rally by doubling to right field, scoring Hascheff.
Reno added on to its 4-0 lead when Paquette hit a one-out single up the middle. Then leadoff hitter Garrett Hampson came to the plate and belted a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence for a 6-0 advantage.
Paquette, the Huskies’ No. 9 hitter, gave Reno production from the bottom of the order. He led the team with three hits and came around to score twice.
Hampson and R.J. Bush added two hits apiece to the winning cause.
Spanish Springs ended Graybar’s shutout bid in the fifth frame.
Chase Kittilsen led off the bottom of the fifth with a double into the gap in right-center field. A fly out to right field went for the second out in the inning, but it also let Kittilsen tag and move up to third base, from where he scored on Garek Tauchen’s infield base hit.
Graybar scattered five hits and struck out five while walking no one. He allowed just the one earned run.
“He really located his off-speed stuff and really kept guys off-balance,” Hofmann said of Graybar. “He had us guessing. Anytime a pitcher has you guessing, he’s going to have the upper hand for the greater part of the day. He has great control of his stuff.”
Only three of the Huskies’ runs on offense were earned thanks to the poor defense.
Tanner Oates was the lone Cougar with two hits in the loss.
Spanish Springs (12-3, 7-3 in Northern 4A) travels to Douglas Thursday for a 3:45 p.m. contest.