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Galena earns baseball split with 9-3 win over Spanish Springs
by Aaron Retherford
Mar 14, 2013 | 1751 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Galena Grizzlies brought their bats to the second game of their Northern Div. I league series with Spanish Springs and earned a split with a 9-3 home win Thursday.

Galena jumped on Spanish Springs from the opening batter.

In the bottom of the first frame, Mike Jones led off with a double just inside the left-field line for the Grizzlies.

It had appeared Jones scored on an error when Ben Barnard dropped down a perfectly-placed bunt and the throw to first was high. However, Barnard was called out for stepping on the plate and Jones was sent back to second. He wouldn’t stay there long.

A wild pitch advanced him to third and Galena loaded the bases with a walk to Tim Lichty and an infield hit by Cole Fenner.

A strikeout by Spanish Springs pitcher Gehrig Parks led to the second out, and the Cougars looked like they might get out of the jam unscathed.

The Grizzlies had other ideas. Wyatt Nebe smacked the first pitch he saw to right field for an RBI single. A walk to Chaz Clark forced in a second run, and Alex Smagala capped the four-run first inning with a line drive single to left field that plated a pair of runs.

“I thought the difference in the game was the first inning. We had an opportunity to get on the board in the first inning and we didn’t,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said. “They came up and answered with four. That was huge. We had a guy on third with one out and didn’t score him. I thought that made the difference.”

The hosts pushed another run across in the second on a run-scoring base hit by Eric Anderson. It could have been worse for the Purple and Silver, but center fielder Shannon Kelly saved two runs by coming up with a diving grab to end the inning.

Kelly then led off the top half of the third and helped the Cougars get that run back. Kelly sprayed a soft liner to right for a single. A sacrifice bunt moved him up to second before a stolen base set him up 90 feet from home.

That proved to be the difference as Kenny Semenko drove him in with a grounder up the middle for a single, cutting the deficit to 5-1.

Galena posted its second four spot of the game in the bottom of the fourth frame.

Following a strikeout to start the inning, Barnard smoked a double to dead center field. He was homeward bound when Lichty pulled a single to right field, increasing the advantage to 6-1.

An error and walk loaded the bases, ending Parks’ outing. Parks allowed nine runs -- six earned -- over 3 1-3 innings of work. He struck out five, walked three and hit a batter.

Chase Hauder took over mound duties and Galena squeezed home a run on a sacrifice bunt by Nebe.

A two-run single by Clark forged the Grizzlies ahead by a 9-1 margin after four innings of play.

With two outs in the top of the fifth and two runners on base, Jeff McCusker tattooed a Nate Barry offering to the warning track in left-center field. The two-run double brought Spanish Springs to within the final six- run margin, 9-3.

Barry went the distance, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out three and issued one walk.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to their guy. He threw really well today. He stayed away, away, away and we never made an adjustment to that,” Hofmann said. “He located his stuff really well and made good pitches when he had to.”

Barnard, Lichty and Nebe all recorded two hits in the win. Clark finished with three RBI, while Nebe knocked in a pair.

Kelly was the lone Cougar with two hits and he also scored two of the three runs from the No. 9 spot in the order.

Spanish Springs (5-2, 1-1) is back at home against Damonte Ranch Saturday.
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