Spanish Springs knocked around host McQueen en route to an 11-0 win in five innings.
“We were most impressed defensively. I thought there were a couple of tough balls Hunter (Pinto) had to catch in right early in the game that were kind of a big deal,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said. “Matty (Mannens) played solid defensively. We played another clean game. We’re trying to improve our defense right now.”
The Cougars got on the board in the second inning with a five-run rally that started with three consecutive batters turning on pitches and ripping line drives to the outfield.
Chase Hauder broke the scoreless tie on an RBI fielder’s choice by Shannon Kelly.
A walk loaded the bases, and Kenny Semenko sent them all home by pulling a grounder over the first base bag for a three-run double.
Lucas Jones followed with an RBI single, forging the Cougs into a 5-0 lead.
Spanish Springs posted three-spots in both the top of the third and fourth frames to set up the 10-run mercy rule.
Back-to-back walks started the third. After a wild pitch advanced both runners 90 feet, Jake Haley singled up the middle, driving in a run.
Gehrig Parks ripped a line drive that short-hopped McQueen shortstop Kody Reynolds and he could not pick it cleanly, allowing another run to score. Parks would come home later thanks to a wild pitch, increasing the advantage to 8-0.
In the fourth, Jeff McCusker led off with a liner to left field. Pinto scorched a line drive in the same spot. McCusker hustled his way to third and Pinto took second on the throw to third base.
Still with no outs, Hauder sliced a run-scoring double down the left-field line, knocking in McCusker.
A sacrifice fly by Haley made the score 10-0, and Kelly capped the scoring with a flare to center field that brought in Hauder.
Hauder was also effective on the mound, working four scoreless innings for the victory. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out one.
“He’s solid. He’s got three pitches and none of them are spectacular,” Hofmann said. “His changeup is really good. His fastball is good. He knows how to pitch, and he locates his three pitches well. If you can do that in high school baseball, most of the time you’re going to be successful. That’s what he’s done. He’s made all quality starts for us.”
Jones, McCusker, Hauder, and Haley all had two hits apiece for the Purple and Silver.
Nate Gadsby recorded two of the Lancers’ three hits.
Spanish Springs ( 20-7, 14-4) hits the road again Saturday for a doubleheader at Carson.