Spanish Springs drew a tough break in pool play. After a tourney team backed out, the local club had to play pool favorite Oakland twice. There were only four teams in the Spanish Springs pool rather than five. Spanish Springs did qualify for single-elimination bracket play thanks to a 2-2 pool record. Both of its losses were to pool champion Oakland.
Spanish Springs did jump out 2-0 on Oakland with a pair of runs in the to of the first inning, thanks to a Tanner Smith two-run double. Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, that’s all the offense it could muster. Oakland, got a run back in the bottom of the first, and took a 3-2 lead with two more in the second.
Oakland continued to pour it on, chipping in three more runs in the third and enforcing the 10-run mercy rule with a six-run fourth inning.
Despite the morning defeat, Spanish Springs had no trouble rebounding against Taylorsville. The Utah squad took a 2-0 edge with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, but their Nevada foes shut the door from there.
Spanish Springs erased the margin with a nine-run second inning and did not trail again. Spanish Springs captured its own mercy-rule win by tacking on three runs in the third and two in the fourth.
“All the kids hit really well in the second game today,” Spanish Springs coach Wayne Smith said. “It seemed like hitting was contagious in the second game. It feels good to have some momentum going into bracket play.”
Spanish Springs opens bracket play today at 5:30 p.m. against perennial power Bakersfield, Calif.
“Bakersfield is a good team, but we’re excited to play them,” Smith said.
•In Honolulu, Hawaii, The Spanish Springs 12-year-olds were eliminated from regional play after getting saddled with a 9-4 loss by the host team Manoa, Hawaii.
Manoa got two runs in the top of the first and never trailed. Spanish Springs trimmed the gap to 2-1 with a score in the bottom of the second, but it all came unraveled when Hawaii pushed across four unearned runs in the top of inning five. It added three more runs in the sixth.
Spanish Springs, the Nevada state champion, hurt its cause by committing six errors in defeat.
“Those unearned runs in the fifth really shut us down,” Spanish Springs coach Mark Prizina said. “Hawaii plays great small ball. They move runners around any way they can. They played cleaner than us … You just can’t commit errors.”
Cole Drescher and Alan Lummel each rapped out two hits, combining for half of the Nevada squad’s hit total.
•The Spanish Springs 8-year-old all-stars wrapped up a tough few days at their tournament in Riverton Utah. Spanish Springs was slammed 20-4 by Lone Peak, Utah, falling to 0-4 in pool play Thursday.
Walks hurt the Sparks team. A bevy of free passes circled the sacks for the Utah club in the lopsided affair. Lone Peak scored 11 runs in the top of the first and was never threatened.
“Lone Peak is a good club, one of the top teams from our bracket,” Spanish Springs coach Clint Belding said. “We were never in it today, but it’s been a fun trip. I think the kids have enjoyed this experience.”
Donovan Ratfield was named the Spanish Springs team MVP for Thursday’s game.