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Sparks rolls in pair of wins
by Tribune Staff
Mar 09, 2013 | 3666 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To start the season, the Sparks High baseball team had a large amount of production that it was replacing from a squad that graduated nine a year ago. If their early efforts are any sign, the Railroaders will be just fine.

Taking part in the Pershing County High School Tournament, Sparks traveled to Lovelock Saturday for a pair of contests and came away with two easy wins.

“We did pretty good,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “Both of our games were 10-run rules. Our pitching was great and they just hit the ball really well. They did what they are supposed to do.”

Sparks first took on Carlin and after two scoreless innings, finally broke through in the third inning and never looked back.

Playing the role of visitors, the Railroaders posted a six spot in the top of the third. Carlin responded with three in the bottom half of the frame, but Sparks’ bats stayed hot as SHS scored four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to enforce the 10-run mercy rule.

Sparks junior Brandon Friedmann went the distance for the Railroaders, striking out five while giving up six hits and two earned runs.

In the batter’s box, senior Casey Carter and sophomore Travis Dulgar led the way with 3-for-4 efforts, respectively, with each tallying an RBI and Carter scoring three runs. Jared Longland was 2-for-4, including a triple with a trio of RBI. Dustin Alexander, Collin Ray and Austin Garrick all went 2-for-3 with Alexander notching a home run.

In Sparks’ second game, the results for the Railroaders were much the same against Lovelock.

The Maroon and Gold once again took a two-inning warming period before its offense got going. Once it did, there was not much the Mustangs could do to stop it as SHS rolled to a 12-0 win.

Sparks scored a pair of runs in the top of the third inning before adding four more to its lead in the fourth. Up 6-0, the Railroaders added another pair for an 8-0 advantage before triggering the mercy rule with four more in the seventh.

Senior Keiffer Putman highlighted the win for Sparks from both the batter’s box and the mound. While Putman went 2-for-4, including a triple as he scored four runs and had two RBI, it was not his bat that was the most impressive. There was little Lovelock could do at the dish. Putman pitched a complete game, giving up just two hits and walking three while striking out 18.

Sparks (3-0) will visit Fernley on Friday at 4 p.m.

"We just have to keep playing solid on defense and make the plays that are us," Vasko said. "On the routine plays, we don't have to do anything special. As long as we do the little things the right way, I think things will fall into place for us."

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