The 10-year-old All-Stars were the next in line to get their chance to bring home some hardware and they didn’t disappoint, capping an undefeated run through state with a 13-11 triumph over Silver State in Sunday night’s state championship game at Gepford Park in Sun Valley.
In the first five tournament games for Spanish Springs, Silver State’s five-run loss in round robin play was the closest margin of defeat.
The championship game looked like it would be more like the two teams' first meeting in the double-elimination tournament when Spanish Springs 10-runned Silver State in five innings. However, Silver State gave Spanish Springs a game after trailing by as much as seven runs.
“We came to play today. That was a great team we played over there,” Spanish Springs manager Gary Tremaine said. “There’s no quit in them. We probably have a little deeper team than them and it showed today.”
Silver State came out swinging, ripping four base hits in the top of the first, the majority on first pitches. The visitors put two runs on the board in both the first and second innings to claim an early 4-0 lead.
Spanish Springs stormed back, snatching a 5-4 advantage by batting around in the bottom of the second. Brock O’Connell and Calvin Bailey both had RBI singles, while Ryan Brennan capped the rally with a two-run bloop single over the shortstop’s head.
Spanish Springs got a run on a Tyler Groat single that dropped right in front of a diving center fielder in the third, driving in Ryan Espin, who had led off the inning with a base hit.
Silver State knotted the game at 6-all by pushing across a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. However, Spanish Springs came alive again. The home team sent 11 batters to the plate and posted a seven spot on the scoreboard.
The bottom third of the lineup came up big in the inning. No. 7 hitter O’Connell, laced his second RBI single of the game. Jacob Ruiz followed with a run-scoring double opposite field to right and Groat knocked in two runs with a high chopper over third base from his No. 9 spot.
The last three batters in the Spanish Springs order combined for five hits and six RBI in the win.
“It’s the whole team. It’s not just three or four guys that play on our team. Everyone contributes,” Tremaine said.
Spanish Springs wasn’t done though. Connor Culp found the gap in left-center field for an RBI double that rolled to the fence. After him, Bailey came through with an RBI single. He later made it 13-6 by scoring on an error in the outfield.
While it appeared Spanish Springs would institute the 10-run mercy rule, Silver State didn’t give up, scoring its final five runs with a big rally in the fifth inning. The two-run margin was as close as it could get.
Spanish Springs will compete at the regional tournament in Bakersfield, Calif. in a week.
•In the 8-year-old single-elimination bracket, Spanish Springs erased the bitter taste of defeat from its previous two one-run losses by routing both opponents in the bracket.
Spanish Springs beat Sun Valley 19-11 to advance to Sunday night’s state championship and then demolished No. 1 seed Silver State, 12-2 in four innings. Silver State was coming off a 15-1 victory over Fallon in the state semis.
“There was a lot of confidence among all of us, knowing we only lost by one run in both games,” manager Matt Turley said. “It was probably the best game we’ve played. Logan Brown pitched three innings and just shut the door. It was a good all-around performance.”
When Spanish Springs went up 3-2 on Hayden Sullivan’s inside-the-park home run in the top of the second, that sparked Spanish Springs.
Spanish Springs scored six in the third to go up 9-2.
For the second straight game Aiden Turley came up with a big hit. He started the fourth with a base knock and it was contagious after that as Spanish Springs tallied three more runs for a 10-run margin. Bryan Green pitched a 1-2-3 fourth frame to end it.
Spanish Springs heads to Riverton, Utah for regional action.