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Spanish Springs All-Stars geared up to represent Nevada at regionals
by Aaron Retherford
Jul 21, 2012 | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs 8-year-olds All-Star pitcher Aramus “Smoke” Anderson fires a pitch to the plate during Spanish Springs’ 11-1 loss Saturday morning to the Jr. Cardinal 9U from Palo Alto, Calif. The game was part of the All World Sports World Series at Golden Eagle Regional Park.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs 8-year-olds All-Star pitcher Aramus “Smoke” Anderson fires a pitch to the plate during Spanish Springs’ 11-1 loss Saturday morning to the Jr. Cardinal 9U from Palo Alto, Calif. The game was part of the All World Sports World Series at Golden Eagle Regional Park.
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Six Spanish Springs Cal Ripken All-Star teams entered the postseason with hopes of qualifying for next week’s Pacific Southwest Regional tournaments in California and Utah.

One squad went unopposed and automatically advanced. One team won state, but parents had decided not to allow them to compete at regionals, so they wouldn’t miss the first week of school. One team lost to Fallon at state, while the other three Spanish Springs squads went undefeated at state tournaments hosted at Eagle Canyon Park.

The Spanish Springs 8-year-olds rolled to a 24-0 win over Silver State in the state championship game Sunday. However, they will not be going to Riverton, Utah to compete at regionals. Instead, they have been competing at the All World Sports World Series at Golden Eagle Park this week against some pretty stiff competition.

Manager Adam Botts said they have been taking on  teams that have been playing all year and the Spanish Springs 8’s are not having a lot of success, but all the kids are having fun either way.

The Spanish Springs 9-year-olds did not get a chance to compete against other 9-year-old All-Star teams at state. They automatically qualified for the regional tourney hosted by Los Altos Youth Baseball in Long Beach, Calif.

They open up with Southern California Monday at 9 a.m. and are in the same pool as Copper Hills (Northern Utah) and Oakland (Northern California #2).

The Spanish Springs 10-year-olds will also be in Long Beach, Calif. after dominating state by posting football-style scores on offense.

“Most of these kids were on the 9-year-old All-Star team,” manager Brad Durski said. “This year we added about five different players. They’re playing great. We gave Sparks Centennial a run for their money last night (Wednesday). We had a t-ball inning to lose it. It’s good. Everyone is excited. We did well last year in Panguitch, Utah. This year we’re looking forward to it because we’ve got some dominant pitchers on this team, and we’re hitting the ball well right now.”

The Spanish Springs 10-year-olds open regional play Monday at 4 p.m. against Simi Valley, the representative from Southern California. The tournament is a double-elimination style. Durski said it’s important to stay out of the losers’ bracket because his team would have to win twice as many games to take the crown.

Both the Spanish Springs 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds, who play on 70-foot base paths, only got two games in at state, sweeping best-of-three series against Silver State.

The 11-year-olds are also headed to California, but will stay fairly close to home, playing in Elk Grove.

Despite only playing two games at state and scrimmaging once Thursday against Sun Valley, manager Damon O’Connell isn’t concerned that other regional qualifiers will have an advantage.

“It’s pretty much the same group of boys we’ve had the last three years. It’s a strong group. All of them are coming off travel ball seasons, so they’re very experienced kids,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think it’s a disadvantage. The reason being is every one of these kids gets to play during the summer. This is just an extension of their travel ball.”

The 11-year-olds are in the Cal Ripken Jr. pool along with Laguna Purple (Northern California #1), Murray (Utah North), Southern California and Laguna Grey (Northern California #2). Spanish Springs opens pool play Tuesday at 2 p.m. against Laguna Grey. Pool play lasts until Friday and the single elimination championship round begins Saturday, pitting the top two teams from each pool against each other.

Although the Spanish Springs 12-year-olds swept Silver State to win the state championship, they had slightly mixed results, taking Game 1 by a 13-0 score but needing extra innings to win the second game 8-3.

Still, the potential for success at regionals is looking promising. As 11-year-olds, the Wayne Smith-led squad reached elimination bracket play with its only losses coming to California powerhouses a year ago.

The 12-year-olds are the only Spanish Springs team not headed to the Golden State. Taylorsville, Utah will play host to the 12-70’s.

Spanish Springs is pitted against Ogden #2, the second team representing Northern Utah, which might be a good draw from the team from Nevada. That game will be Monday at 7:30 p.m.
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