The Cougars, who opened their spring campaign Thursday with a 3-2 win over Truckee, sit 2-1 after Friday's split. They wrap up their early season stretch of five games in three days with two more tournament tilts Saturday.
Against Elko, in the second game Friday afternoon, Spanish Springs pushed across eight first-inning runs and never trailed en route to the four-run win. The SSHS crew took advantage of four first-inning walks and a pair of hit batters to go along with a double and two singles, inducing its damage.
After watching all three of its outs come via the whiff in the first, Elko responded in the second, posting six runs of its own to hang around. Elko used three walks, two SSHS errors and a hit batter to help its cause in the outburst.
It mattered little. The Cougars added three more runs in the second inning. Lucas Jones, Chase Hauder and Jack Haley laced a trio of singles to start the rally. Two walks and a fielder's choice helped all three circle the sacks.
The Cougars scored their 11 runs on just six hits while Elko managed its six runs on only four hits.
The game was shortened to six innings due to tournament time-limit rules.
"We took advantage of walks," Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. "When you score eight in the first, you like your chances. We haven't been able to score a lot of runs. We did get a couple nice base hits after a couple walks. There are things to build on. But at the same time, some frustration comes when you get an 8-0 lead and don't hold it. We didn't play great defense. Then we gave them some walks and let them back into it. You just can't do that."
In Spanish Springs' first game of the day, Douglas pushed across five runs in the final two innings to pull out its 8-4 win.
Douglas led 3-2 after five frames but broke open the close contest with two runs in the top of the sixth and three more in the seventh. The Tigers needed only one hit in each inning to inflict their damage. The Cougars also helped the DHS cause with an error in each frame.
After Douglas scored a run in the top of the first, Spanish Springs tied the game at a run apiece in the bottom of the first. Cougars leadoff hitter Matt Mannens singled, stole second and scored on a Jones single.
The Cougars got a run in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 3-2. That score came after Jeff McCusker singled, moved up to second on a balk and scored on a Vinny Agliolo double.
The visiting Tigers responded with their two key innings in the sixth and seventh to forge ahead 8-2. Spanish Springs was able to tack on two more runs in its half of the seventh but was still saddled with the four-run loss. Mannens singled and scored while Jones doubled and scored to account for the final two SSHS runs.
"We were right there," Hofmann said. "We had some base-running mistakes. Our approach at the plate was better. We had guys on base all day but we couldn't capitalize. There are positives to build on."
Spanish Springs will host Fallon at 10 a.m. and then it goes to Reed for a 2:30 p.m. contest.