FALLON — The Spanish Springs all-stars’ offense hit a wall at the wrong time and their regional tournament run came to an end Tuesday at the 11-year-old, 70-feet Pacific Southwest Regional Cal Ripken Tournament.
Spanish Springs managed just four hits for the second straight day and it resulted in the local squad’s second-straight loss, eliminating it from the tournament. Los Altos of Long Beach, Calif. handed Spanish Springs a 10-3 afternoon loss Tuesday at Fallon’s Oats Park.
Los Altos had the momentum most of the day. Hudson Deaton ripped a two-run double and Brennan Antonini followed with an RBI double, giving the California crew a quick 3-0 edge after the top of the first.
Spanish Springs posted all of its scoring in the bottom of the inning. A day after suffering its first tourney loss, 7-1 to Elk Grove, Calif., Spanish Springs responded to post a trio of runs in the bottom of the first to knot the game at 3-3.
Carson McCusker drew a one-out walk. After Los Altos picked up the second out of the inning, Duncan Wilmot walked. McCusker scored after a passed ball and a wild pitch. Jake Brennan then blasted a two-run homer that bounced off the electrical pole in right-center field.
Unfortunately for the local squad, that’s as good as it got. Los Altos turned the tide with seven unanswered runs over the final five innings and was never really threatened the rest of the way.
“I think our kids came together after that. They responded after that home run and shook it off,” Los Altos coach Chris Steer said.
The score remained 3-3 into the fourth frame. Evan Beat was issued a two-out walk for Los Altos. He circled the sacks after back-to-back singles by Josh Agnew and Will Semonsen.
Spanish Springs struggled to get that third out of the inning and stay in contention. Los Altos got a three-run dinger from Jacob Hughey to forge ahead 7-3 and blow the game open.
“After that top of the first, we came right back and got after it. That fired up all the kids and we were pretty confident it was a game we could get,” Spanish springs coach Damon O’Connell said. “But then they hit that home run. That’s the one that put the kids down. We got down and never recovered from that.”
Los Altos saw four straight players reach safely, capped by the home run, after Spanish Springs had retired the first two hitters in the inning. The SoCal club didn’t let up. It tacked on another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to account for the remainder of its scoring.
Spencer Steer was the star of the show for Los Altos. He picked up the pitching win, striking out four and walking five. He allowed just five baserunners after the first inning and only one of those even reached third base.
“I think that kid was pretty effective,” O’Connell said. “He had a couple good pitches and he threw hard. We got some good swings off him, but never could find a hole.”
The Los Altos hurler got accolades from his coach as well.
“Spanish Springs is a good team, with good experience. I was pleased with Spencer’s effort and his composure,” Coach Steer said. “He’s got three pitches. He kept their hitters off balance.”
Spanish Springs, which won its pool at the regional tourney, became the first local Cal Ripken team, in any age group, to win three games at a regional tournament.