“They bounced back from a pretty bad performance we had this past week,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “Our pitchers threw strikes and the hitters did what they needed to do to score runs.”
In Game 1, Sparks scored in four of five innings. The first three innings saw the Railroaders jump all over Hug as they pushed four runs home in the first inning, two in the second, and four more in the third frame for a 10-2 advantage.
After the Hawks managed to score a run in the top of the fourth inning to bring the deficit to 10-3, the Maroon and Gold produced three runs in the bottom of the fifth frame to go up 13-3, cutting the game short.
Sparks junior Keiffer Putman took the mound for the Railroaders, tossing five strikeouts over five innings of work while walking one and giving up four hits in the victory.
The Railroaders sprayed 13 hits across the diamond in the first contest. Senior L.B. Rose led the hitting barrage, going 4-for-4, including a pair of doubles and four runs scored. Putman and senior Kody McClelland each went 2-for-3.
Not wanting to allow Hug any momentum in the second game, the home team again pounced quickly.
After the Hawks plated two runs in the top of the first, Sparks used seven hits and a combination of mistakes from Hug to explode for eight runs with its turn at the dish in the top of the first.
The Railroaders tacked on another run in the second inning before adding four more in the bottom of the fourth frame to leave the scoreboard reading the final tally of 13-2.
Senior Quinn Lightfoot led the Railroaders’ offense in Game 2, batting 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored. Putman and junior Casey Carter each went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. The Railroaders had 11 hits in the win.
Brandon Harris earned the win from the mound for Sparks, striking out seven in his five innings of work while walking four.
Vasko said he was pleased with the way his team performed in light of their showing a few days earlier in the loss at Hug.
“It’s not just the team and it’s not just me,” Vasko said. “I have two great assistant coaches in Dave Tallent and John England. They helped me refocus the guys this week and we went to basics. We worked on the fundamentals of the game. You could see that today. We got down on ground balls. I think we had maybe one error all day today. Just focusing on the fundamentals, I think we played a little bit better.”
Sparks (14-5, 8-1 Mount Rose) will now face off three times with Truckee to determine first place in the Mount Rose League with the first game set for Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Truckee.
“We’re just going to do one game at a time,” Vasko said. “One game at a time and let the cards fall where they may. We’re going to hustle and do our very best this week.”