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Sparks baseball no match for Fallon
by Damian Tromerhauser
Mar 30, 2012 | 780 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
photo contributed by Lahontan Valley News - Sparks pitcher Kody McClelland got in some work in the Railroaders’ loss at Fallon.
photo contributed by Lahontan Valley News - Sparks pitcher Kody McClelland got in some work in the Railroaders’ loss at Fallon.
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  FALLON — The Sparks baseball team has been on a tear to begin its season, but the Railroaders squad stumbled on Friday afternoon as it was handed an 11-1 defeat at the hands of Fallon.

“We didn’t come with our game today,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. They played better than us today. Their pitcher threw well. I don’t know what the deal was. There’s no excuses. We just didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing.

“I don’t think we were as focused as we should have been. Like I said, they played a really good game and they hit the ball. We had three different pitchers in there and they hit us. I don’t take anything

away from Fallon. They played a really good game and we just didn’t play the way we are capable of playing. We just have to come and play better baseball. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get off the bus and play better than we did today.”

After setting Sparks down in the top of the first inning, Fallon wasted no time jumping on the Railroaders with its bats. A leadoff walk to senior Frank deBraga allowed Alonzo Williams to step to the dish and rip a triple to plate the first run of the game before he scored the second run of the inning on a pass ball. Garrett Llamas followed with a double and was sent around the bases on a single by JJ Boyle. Boyle rounded out the inning by crossing the plate, leaving the Greenwave up 4-0 after one and chasing Sparks’ starting pitcher Kody McClelland from the game.

Both teams struggled at the plate as Llamas and Sparks’ reliever Brandon Harris got into a groove with 3-up and 3-downs until the bottom of the fourth. That’s when Fallon struck again for four more runs. The Railroaders didn’t help their own cause in the bottom frame either.

Fallon senior Scott Hutchings got the rally started with a single back up the middle and then advanced to second on an errant pick-off throw. An error on a bunt allowed Dalton Frank to reach first safely. With runners at second and third, sophomore Tristen Salazar singled home Hutchings for a 5-0 edge. A throw into the outfield with Salazar stealing second gave Frank a free pass home before the inning was capped by a two-run shot off the bat of Williams, giving the Greenwave an 8-0 advantage.

Llamas struck out the side in the top of the fifth before finally bending in the sixth, when the Maroon and Gold scored its only run of the game. With two out and the bases loaded, sophomore Nic Stenberg took the mound for Fallon, but issued a walk to the first batter he faced, forcing Keiffer Putman home and bringing the score to 8-1.

Still holding a decisive lead, the Greenwave put the game away early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth and implementing the 10-run mercy rule victory.

Sparks (7-2, 5-0 Mount Rose League) faces off against Dayton and Fernley in a twin-bill today in Fallon. The first game is set for 9 a.m. Vasko said he expects more from his team today.

“I want to see 100 percent hustle out of them and for them to show what we are capable of,” Vasko said. “We’re playing good teams in Dayton and Fernley so we have to up our game play.”

Softball - Fallon 20, Sparks 0

The Sparks softball team has seen better days as it was demolished by Fallon 20-0 Friday afternoon in a non-league affair.

Greenwave senior pitchers Jill Ponder and Robin Openshaw teamed up in the circle and dominated the visitors. Ponder started the game, working three innings and striking out 10 batters for the win while Openshaw pitched the final two innings of the shortened game, finishing with three strikeouts. The pair combined to one-hit the Railroaders.

“We were very undisciplined at the plate today,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “We didn’t look like we were there to play softball and against a good team like Fallon that will happen. We’re a work in progress and we’ll continue to keep working at it.”

Fallon scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning before adding to its lead with a nine-run third. That brought its advantage to 15-0. Five more runs in the fourth left the scoreboard reading the final tally of 20-0. The Greenwave had 10 hits on the game.

Sparks (2-8, 1-4 Mount Rose League) plays Fernley and Dayton today in Fallon, beginning at 9 a.m.
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