The two teams meet again today at 11 a.m. A Sparks win would knot the series at a game apiece, forcing a third and deciding game immediately after the initial affair. A Sparks loss would end the Railroaders' season and give Lowry a berth in next week's four-team Div. 1-A regional tournament.
"We made a couple mistakes that if we don't make, it's a closer game," Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. "But this is playoff baseball. You have to be clean. We'll come back and try to get them tomorrow."
Sparks led briefly. The SHS gang pushed across a run in the top of the first inning. The advantage did not last too long. Lowry took control of the contest by putting up four runs in the bottom of the second.
Neither team scored in the third or fourth innings, but Sparks rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. That rally saw the Rail City school trim Lowry's lead to 4-3. Unfortunately for Sparks, it did not get any closer.
The Buckaroos answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take firm control of the momentum. Sparks responded with a run in the sixth, but Lowry had an answer again, tacking on two more runs for a 9-4 lead.
Sparks (14-8) added its final run in the top of the seventh but it proved too little, too late.
The Railroaders finished with 10 hits in the postseason loss. Kieffer Putman and Austin Garrick were both 2-for-4 at the plate for Sparks.