Here’s a quick rundown of their Cal Ripken All-Star games.
•The Spanish Springs 12-year-olds dug themselves a hole after going up against and losing to the perennial powerhouse program of NW Bakersfield, and then Northern California’s representative Elk Grove, during first-day action of the tournament Tuesday.
Nevada showed resiliency Wednesday, using small ball to dispatch Arizona (Surprise), 3-1.
Derek Stuber pitched five strong innings of relief to earn the victory on the mound.
“They did bounce back. They had a better attitude today. They knew they had to get the job done and went out there and performed. It was a great game,” manager Mark Prizina said.
Prizina said Cole Drescher and Kurtis Roberts drove in runs for Nevada, and his team worked out of jams and made stellar defensive plays.
Nevada has one last pool play game today at 10 a.m. against the host team Hawaii (Manoa). A win would clinch Nevada’s spot in the single-elimination tournament as one of the top three teams in its Red pool.
•The Spanish Springs 11-year-olds knew Wednesday’s game with Northern California (Oakland) would be its biggest challenge in pool play.
Unfortunately for Nevada, it came out on the short end of a see-saw battle, falling 4-3, with the game-tying run just 70 feet from home plate when the final out was recorded.
“I felt we played much better today even though we lost,” manager Wayne Smith said. “We were a lot happier with this game than yesterday.”
Smith said the team from Oakland was very quick on the basepaths, but his squad slowed them down by throwing out a couple runners, which led to Nevada’s semi-success in the game.
Northern California jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. Colton Forman led off the bottom half of the inning with a triple and tied the game on a Dawson Martin sacrifice fly.
Northern California went up by a run again, but Nevada knotted the score at two runs apiece before seeing Northern California push its lead to 4-2.
Nevada got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but came up one run short, stranding the tying run at third.
Chris Samir and Mickey Coyne both pitched three innings for Nevada, giving up two runs each.
Smith said Tanner Smith, Forman, Samir and Martin all had two hits in the loss.
Because Guam backed out of the tournament, Nevada has to play Northern California again in pool play this morning, which hurts Nevada’s chances of advancing since Nevada is the only team in the pool that has to play Oakland twice. The two Utah teams in the Bill Ripken pool faced each other twice.
Nevada will then come back and challenge Northern Utah #1 (Taylorsville) in an afternoon clash. Smith said his team will need to win one of those games to make it to the single-elimination bracket.
•The Spanish Springs 9-year-olds are the only local squad that still hasn’t lost after having its second pool play game of the tournament rained out Wednesday in Panguitch, Utah.
Nevada will make up that game versus Central California #2 (Tulare) at 9:30 a.m. today and then will play Northern California #1 (Laguna) at 2:30 p.m. to conclude Billy Ripken pool play.
There are three pools for the 12-team tournament, but only the top two in each pool advance to elimination play.
•A day after losing 29-2 to one of the tournament’s favorites, the Spanish Springs 8-year-olds had another tough day in Riverton, Utah.
Coach Clint Belding said his team’s pitching allowed too many walks and the defense made too many errors when it had a chance to make plays as Nevada suffered a 17-11 defeat at the hands of Southern Utah (Carbon).
Belding said the team’s MVP for the game was Grant Larson, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and drove in a trio of runs. Trevor Watkins also contributed two hits in the losing cause.
Nevada still has a very slim chance of advancing to the single-elimination bracket as one of the top two teams in its pool, but it will likely need to find a way to win a tie-breaker with two other teams.
Nevada finishes up pool play today with Northern Utah (Lone Peak) in a must-win situation. However, Northern Utah has already beaten Southern Utah 19-0, so Nevada’s chances don’t look promising.