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Spanish Springs all-stars roll
by Damian Tromerhauser
Jul 12, 2012 | 1357 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs relief pitcher Ryan Cooper gets in some work in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs relief pitcher Ryan Cooper gets in some work in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday night.
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The Spanish Springs Cal Ripken 8-year-old All-Stars kicked the Cal Ripken Nevada State Tournament off with a bang, handing the Silver State All-Stars a lopsided 13-1 defeat on Thursday evening at Eagle Canyon Park.

Spanish Springs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, pushing three runs home in the top of the first inning.

Drew Rovens led things off for Spanish Springs by taking a walk and stealing second base. A fielder’s choice advanced Rovens to third before another fielder’s choice made Rovens the first run of the contest. With two outs, Spanish Springs got a rally going. Zack Harbart sent a single into left field before swiping a pair of bags. Following a walk to Jacob Doyle, a Silver State error on a grounder of the bat of Ivan Sanchez allowed Harbart to tally Spanish Springs’ second run of the inning. After a double steal put both remaining runners in scoring position, Doyle successfully stole home on a passed ball to give Spanish Springs a 3-0 edge.

In the bottom of the first, Silver State managed to score a run when John Munoz singled home Colby Short. The lone run would prove to be the highlight of the evening for Silver State as it was only able to put two more runners on the base paths the remainder of the game, both due to a walk.

Spanish Springs countered Silver State’s run in the top of the second when Aramus Anderson stole home from third on a wild pitch, leaving the game at 4-1. Harbart, the Spanish Springs’ starting pitcher, again kept the Silver State bats silent in the bottom of the second. Following a walk that led off the bottom frame, Harbart struck out the next trio of batters to step into the box.

With a 4-1 advantage, Spanish Springs decided to unload its full offensive artillery in the top of the third.

Lucas Hutson sparked the inning with a single to center field and a stolen base. Teegan Smith then ripped a bullet back at Silver State pitcher Dylan Florence that ricocheted off Florence’s ankle and into left field, giving Hutson a free path to the plate for a 5-1 lead. Standing on third, Smith took home on a passed ball to push the lead to 6-1. Harbart showed off his speed as he beat out a close play for an infield single and then stole a pair of bases. Standing on third base, Harbart took advantage of a bad throw back to the pitcher to score.

Sanchez kept things going strong for Spanish Springs with a shot into right field for a single. Following a steal by Sanchez, Anakin Botts dropped a bloop single in between the Silver State center fielder and second baseman to bring Sanchez around the bases, leaving Spanish Springs up 8-1. A frozen rope double to left field from Anderson allowed him to trade spots with Botts for another run. Back-to-back steals from Anderson added the final run to the six-spot, leaving Spanish Springs ahead 10-0.

“They brought the bats today,” Spanish Springs coach Adam Botts said. “The first couple pitchers for Silver State were kind of doing an extra little thing as they delivered to regain their balance and we trained all of our kids based off the pitching, so they struggled a little bit at first but then they got things going. Besides that, we had some great plays and our pitching was great. We’re lucky. We have nine solid pitchers on this team, so we’ll be able to go the whole weekend. It’s going to be a great weekend. Our kids are playing great, our coaches are pumped and obviously our crowd is into it so it really helps.”

The bottom of the third inning was just as productive for Silver State as the bottom of the second frame was, but this time the damage came from a different Spanish Springs ace. Ryan Cooper took the mound in relief of Harbart, walking one and striking out three.

With the mercy-rule close to being in affect, Spanish Springs tacked on three more runs in the top of the fourth to seal the deal. The first pair of runs came as Rovens and JJ Dain took advantage of two Silver State mistakes to steal home while the last run came on a hard RBI-single back up the middle from Sean McElfish that resulted in the final outcome of 13-1.

Cooper closed the door on the victory for Spanish Springs in the bottom of the fourth, inducing a ground out and tossing a pair of strikeouts. Over two innings of work, Cooper struck out five while walking one. The southpaw Harbart also struck out five over two innings, while walking a pair and giving up Silver State’s lone hit of the game.

For Botts and his All-Star squad, he said the dominant performance comes down to one thing.

“I have to say it comes down to coaching. We have three of the top coaches for this age division that are out here. We had tryouts and we picked the best of the best. We make them work hard. We portray to them that if they work hard and they play hard and they try hard, they will win. If they practice like winners, they’ll be winners. We’re going to take each game as it is, but our kids are ready. They’re ready to go and they’re pumped. They’re non-stop and they’re ready to go. They’re absolutely loving it right now. They’re sitting on Cloud Nine.”

Spanish Springs will look to remain atop that cloud when they face off against the All-Stars from Sun Valley in the 4-team round robin tournament today at 3 p.m. at Eagle Canyon Park.
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