Spanish Springs falls to 6-11 overall and 4-8 in league conference clashes. Its the sixth straight loss for Spanish Springs and all have come by three runs or less.
“We’re definitely in trouble,” Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. “We’ve got to start winning some games to make the playoffs. I told the kids today, ‘there’s no denying that.’ We have to work hard, use spring break to get healthy and then on the bye week work on some things. Hopefully,we’ll get right back on track and steal a couple wins because that’s what it will take.”
With the score deadlocked at 4-4, Douglas (12-5, 6-5) got its first two hitters on in the bottom of the eighth, but then Spanish Springs turned a double play on a botched Tigers bunted attempt. Unfortunately for the SSHS nine, Dillon Lopes came through in the clutch for Douglas with a two-out RBI single, giving Douglas the narrow one-run lead and ending the game.
Spanish Springs trailed 3-1 as it came up in the top of the sixth. The Cougars grabbed the momentum with a three-run rally that saw them forge ahead 4-3.
Shannon Kelly drew a one-out walk to start the Cougars’ sixth. He scored on a Lucas Jones double. Jones came plateward on a Matt Mannens double and then Mannens raced home after a pair of passed balls.
Too bad for the SSHS crew, the one-run, 4-3 lead, did not stand up. Douglas knotted the contest at four apiece thanks to a two-out RBI triple by Jackson Ketron, forcing the game into extra frames.
“I have told our kids I like them,” Hofmann said. “I like their energy and enthusiasm. We just haven’t executed at key times when we’ve needed to and we’re not good enough to make small mistakes like we have gotten away with in the past. We must do a better job of executing.
“If we play catch and don’t have the three error and give up the two unearned runs, we’re fine. If we take a little better approaches at the plate and take what pitchers are giving us, if we make a couple adjustments here and there, things would be be different. We’re not that far off, but we’re not good enough to overcome a couple mistakes a game.”
Chase Kittilsen got the starting nod and turned in five solid innings but did not factor in the decision. He scattered five Douglas hits in a two-strikeout, three-walk performance. He was tagged for three Tigers runs but only one was earned.
Mannens had a 2-for-4 showing at the plate for the Cougars but the rest of the SSHS lineup managed only three hits on the day.
Spanish Springs returns to action Tuesday when it hosts its annual spring break tournament. The Cougars will host Drake of San Anselmo, Calif. at 1 p.m. and Yreka, Calif. at 4 p.m.