Facing off on the second day of the Cal Ripken Nevada State Tournament at Eagle Canyon Park, Spanish Springs jumped out to an early lead in the first inning.
After starting pitcher Zack Harbart threw a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first with a ground out and a pair of strikeouts, Spanish Springs went to work with its turn at the dish.
A walk to Drew Rovens started things off for Spanish Springs. Rovens then stole a pair of bases before Lucas Huston brought him home for the games first run with a double. Huston then came home himself on a single from Teegan Smith for a 2-0 Spanish Springs edge. From first base, Smith swiped all three remaining bases to push the lead to 3-0. Jacob Doyle joined in on the fun with a double of his own before moving to third with a steal. A fielder’s choice of the bat of Ivan Sanchez resulted in Doyle touching home.
With two outs and already holding a 4-0 lead, Spanish Springs was still not done. Anakin Botts took a walk, followed by an Aramus Anderson single. After both runners advanced into scoring position on a passed ball, a Sun Valley error off the bat of Seth Klenow cleared the bases for a 6-0 Spanish Springs lead at the end of one.
The six-run inning would be nothing compared to the second though.
After Harbart struck out the side in the top of the second inning, the Spanish Springs offense erupted with its trip to the batter’s box. Sun Valley watched helplessly as Spanish Springs hit anything and everything within the strike zone, turning the base paths into a carousel of Black and Orange. Batting through its lineup three times, Spanish Springs put what would be the equivalent of three touchdowns, three extra points and a safety on the scoreboard — 23 runs.
Huston ignited the barrage for Spanish Springs, leading the inning off with a bomb over the Sun Valley right fielder’s head that resulted in an inside the park home run. The homer was a sign of things to come. After Huston rounded the sacs, Spanish Springs posted 17 more runs before recording its first out of the frame, leaving the scoreboard reading 24-0 in favor of the hosts. The 17-spot was highlighted by a trio of doubles from Ryan Cooper, Harbart and Anderson. Harbart’s double to center field drove in two to bring the score to 18-0 while Anderson’s shot to the left-center field gap also brought in a pair to leave the game at 21-0.
A fielder’s choice off the bat of Smith marked out No. 1, but with the bases loaded it also resulted in a run as Cooper touched home for his second time in the inning. Back-to Back singles from JJ Dain and Doyle sent Rovens and Hutson in for scores respectively for a 27-0 advantage. A Botts single through the middle to plate Dain and an infield single from Anderson that scored Doyle rounded out the scoring in the second with Spanish Springs ahead 29-0.
“Today we came out and the kids were on fire with the bats,” Spanish Springs manager Adam Botts said.”They really brought the bats to the plate today. There’s not much more to say. They came out and hit it. We couldn’t ask for much more than that. I’m very proud of the kids. They did a great job. Sun Valley came out and played and they kept their heads up and that’s all you can ask for.
“Like I said yesterday, it comes down to coaching and the kids have really worked hard since the end of the season. It comes down to coaching and this is what you get for that. The kids come out and we tell them to play hard and that’s what they’re going to do and that’s what we train them to do. It was a great game, but I do feel bad for Sun Valley.”
Sun Valley pushed its first run of the game across the dish in the top of the third after a pair of walks and a hit batsmen loaded the bases. A catcher’s interference on a swing then allowed the Sun Valley run to score.
Spanish Springs tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the third. Sun Valley added one in the top of the fourth before the game was ended due to time at the final result of 34-2.
Spanish Springs will look to grab the No.1 seed as it plays Fallon today at 10 a.m.
“I really don’t know if there is anything that we can do to keep this pace,” Botts said. “The kids have practiced so hard and the kids have been out here in 90-plus degree weather for the last month. It’s all up to them now and they have come out as 8-year-olds and shown that they know what they’re doing. They’re getting it down and I’m very proud of them.”
•Similar to their younger counterparts, the Spanish Springs 10-year-old All-Stars easily disposed of Sun Valley with a 20-5 decision on Friday afternoon.
The Spanish Springs pitching staff, led by Mason Whittaker, worked through the side in each of the first three innings, allowing just one Sun Valley runner to reach base safely on a hit-by-pitch. While Sun Valley faltered as it tried to muster some offense, Spanish Springs had no such trouble at bat.
Taking advantage of multiple Sun Valley mistakes and errors, Spanish Springs posted six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
A single from Mark Ripa led the inning off before Alex VanDyne laced a triple to bring him home. Errors and a walk then left the bases full, setting the stage for a sacrifice fly from Jake Galletti that brought the score to 3-0. With two runners on, Ryan Lujan tripled home a pair for a 5-0 Spanish Springs lead. Lujan then increased the advantage to 6-0 on a sac fly off the bat of Brandon Leary.
Spanish Springs nearly doubled its production in the second inning, pushing 10 runs across the plate to leave the scoreboard reading 16-0 in favor of Spanish Springs after two innings. A series of three straight singles and four straight singles with three errors sandwiched in between the hitting parade set the pace for Spanish Springs’ double-digit inning.
Four more runs were added to the Spanish Springs total in the bottom of the third, bringing the advantage to 20-0. Sun Valley tried to extend the game pass a mercy-rule shortening, but only managed to score five runs in the top of the fourth for the final of 20-5.
Results for the Spanish Springs 10s other contest against Silver State were unavailable by press time. Spanish Springs will resume play in the 3-team round robin tournament today with another doubleheader. First Silver State will again challenge Spanish Springs at 5:30 p.m. before a rematch with Sun Valley at 8 p.m.