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Spanish Springs pulls out 3-0 win over Hug
by Dan Eckles
Apr 06, 2013 | 2028 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs baserunner Jeff McCusker is tagged out at second base in the fifth inning of the Cougars' 3-0 win over Hug Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs baserunner Jeff McCusker is tagged out at second base in the fifth inning of the Cougars' 3-0 win over Hug Saturday.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs baseball coach Ben Hofmann shares his frustration with home plate umpire Steve Busick during fifth-inning action of Saturday's HDL game between the host Cougars and Hug.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs baseball coach Ben Hofmann shares his frustration with home plate umpire Steve Busick during fifth-inning action of Saturday's HDL game between the host Cougars and Hug.
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SPARKS -- It's a good thing the Spanish Springs Cougars didn't need much offense in their High Desert League home game Saturday against Hug. They didn't get much.

Fortunately for Spanish Springs, senior Garrett Covington was holding the Hawks down and putting up zeroes. Any scoring offense Spanish Springs could muster would be enough with the senior right-hander hurling a gem.

The SSHS gang did muster a trio of late runs and captured a 3-0 home victory.

Covington tossed a three-hitter in a complete-game shutout win. He struck out seven without issuing a walk. Spanish Springs did commit one error meaning Hug had four baserunners on the day. Only one reached third and the other three were left stranded at first.

"Garrett has been maybe our best pitcher all year," Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. "You just know what you're going to get with him. He throws strikes. He can use four or five pitches and command the strike zone. He fields his position well. He holds runners well. He's just a good high school pitcher. I'm glad he's on our team. He's leading the league in ERA."

The Hawks only real scoring chance against Covington came in the top of the fourth. HHS cleanup hitter Raymond Kerr singled and stole second. He bounced up quickly and raced to third when the pickoff throw down to second went into center field. Still, he got there with two outs and was left there after Nathan Cain flew out to left field.

The game was a pitchers' duel early. Kerr started on the hill for Hug and threw three shutout innings before being lifted due to a pitch count. He faced just the minimum nine hitters in his three innings of work.

Hug reliever Isaac Nieves turned in a scoreless fourth, leaving the HDL foes still deadlocked at 0-0. The hosts got to Nieves in the fifth and finally broke into the scoring column.

With two outs, Hunter Pinto singled and moved to second on a balk. Gehrig Parks walked and both runners moved up on a double steal. Cougars No. 9 hitter Kyle Messer then proceeded to rap out the biggest hit of the day, a two-run single, plating both Pinto and Parks.

Spanish Springs tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth. Lucas Jones drew a one-out walk and stole second. After a flyout by Vinny Agliolo, Jake Haley dropped in a run-scoring single, allowing Jones to cruise home.

Spanish Springs has won seven of its last eight games. The Cougars now sit 12-4 overall and 8-3 in conference clashes.

"I'm very pleased with where we're at," Hofmann said. "Our guys are doing a good job competing in every game."

This next week is the Washoe County School District's spring break thus no league games are scheduled. Spanish Springs will host its annual three-day spring break tournament, starting Monday. The Cougars open the event with a 10 a.m. game at home Monday against North Valleys.

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