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Cougar leads North squad at Kelley Baseball Showcase
by Aaron Retherford
Jun 28, 2009 | 715 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photos/John Byrne - Reed third baseman Derek Garcia (above) throws a ball to first base during fourth-inning action of Saturday's Kelley Baseball Showcase at Bishop Manogue. Below - Spanish Springs' Humberto Espinoza watches his two-run single land safely.
Tribune photos/John Byrne - Reed third baseman Derek Garcia (above) throws a ball to first base during fourth-inning action of Saturday's Kelley Baseball Showcase at Bishop Manogue. Below - Spanish Springs' Humberto Espinoza watches his two-run single land safely.
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The Rail City was well represented at Saturday's 12th annual Kelley Baseball Showcase held at Bishop Manogue.

Four of the six players from Spanish Springs and Reed started for the North squad, which faced off against 20 of the best players from Las Vegas who did not graduate this year.

But it wasn't one of the starters who made the biggest splash at the showcase. Not only did Spanish Springs third baseman Humberto Espinoza take over for Reed's Derek Garcia and perform the best of the Sparks players, but he was also named the Most Valuable Player for the game.

Espinoza recorded two hits, including a double and drove in three runs. His two-run single, as part of a six-run sixth inning, helped push the North ahead for good. The North went up by an 8-2 margin and held on for the 8-4 victory in the nine-inning game.

"It was really cool. It's good to see. He's a good kid," SSHS assistant coach Ben Hofmann said.

The way the showcase is set up doesn't give much time for the pitchers to impress the pro scouts and college coaches in attendance.

Spanish Springs' Tyler Eaton, the rotation's ace this past season, earned the start on the bump for the North. Eaton started off a little shaky but got out of the first inning unscathed. He hit one batter and allowed an infield hit in a scoreless inning of work.

"It was great to get the start, but I was a little bit nervous out there," Eaton said. "But we ended up getting the win so that was good. It would have been nice to throw two or three innings because they (scouts) didn't really get to see us much, but everybody got their turn."

Each North pitcher got one inning on the mound. Fallon's Teryn Smith was the most dynamic, striking out the side in the top of the sixth, earning Pitcher of the Game honors.

The other three local players in the starting lineup were a combined 0-for-5 at the plate and committed two errors in the field. Espinoza was the only player from either Spanish Springs or Reed who picked up a hit.

However, it was still a positive experience for those players and the fans that packed into the Manogue bleachers on a hot and sunny day.

"It's a good thing for the kids. A lot of people showed up. It was a great atmosphere," Hofmann said. "I thought both teams had a good showing. They played hard and played the game the right way. I hope they learned something. We're real proud of the kids who came from our school and the kids from the North in general. They played well today."

Reno mayor Bob Cashell threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the showcase.

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