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Cougars thump Raiders
by Aaron Retherford
Mar 12, 2011 | 1173 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs' Kendall Murphy watches the first of his two three-run home runs leave the park during the Cougars' 26-13 win over Reed Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs' Kendall Murphy watches the first of his two three-run home runs leave the park during the Cougars' 26-13 win over Reed Saturday.
Spanish Springs made a statement to the rest of the northern Nevada baseball world this past week.

Cross-town foe Reed was the latest victim of the offensive juggernaut that is the Cougars. The Silver and Purple improved to 5-0, capping an undefeated run through the annual preseason Mike Bearman Memorial Tournament with a pair of mercy-rule shortened games — a 12-1 victory over Truckee and a 26-13 romp over Reed Saturday.

In the afternoon game, Spanish Springs rapped out 16 hits, 13 for extra bases, including six home runs.

Kendall Murphy went 3-for-3 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Leadoff man Tim Epker also had two home runs. Tanner Oates was a single away from hitting for the cycle, and Jake Bray also went yard against the Raiders.

“We got hot and it just spread throughout the whole team. It was one of those things where a couple guys got hits and it got contagious,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said. “They say hitting is contagious and I honestly think it was one of those days.”

Bray got the Cougs on the board first. After falling into a 0-2 hole, Bray worked the count full and then crushed a two-run shot to left field.

Two straight walks by Reed starting pitcher Troy O’Connor set the table for a Murphy RBI double. Kyle Clark followed with a two-run double and Cade Rogers tripled him home in the next at-bat, giving Spanish Springs a 6-0 lead.

The visitors were far from done.

After Matt Mannens drew a walk, Rogers stole home on a double steal play. Epker then went opposite field, taking advantage of the strong wind carrying balls over the short porch in right field.

Murphy did the same thing, sending out a three-run homer to right field right after Malcolm Anderson doubled home two runs.

When the top of the first was over, the Cougars nearly batted around twice and enjoyed a 14-0 lead.

Reed catcher Jason Stroberg took a cue from his Spanish Springs counterparts, going deep to right field for a two-run home run. That still only left Reed trailing 14-2 after one inning.

Spanish Springs had another big inning in the second, posting a 10 spot in the scorebook.

Epker started the one-out rally with a solo shot to right. Oates tripled to deep center and a walk and hit batsman loaded the bases for Anderson, who lined a shot back up the middle, plating two more runs to cap his four-RBI game.

For the second straight inning, Murphy blasted a three-run homer, but that wasn’t the biggest hit of the inning.

Three straight walks saturated the sacks for Oates, who turned on a 2-2 pitch and ended the rally with a grand slam, leaving the Cougars in charge, 24-2.

In the bottom of the second, Reed batted around the order, sending 11 batters to the plate on the strength of only two base hits.

Tyler Marchant had one of those hits, driving in a run with a single. Beau Tittensor’s sacrifice fly knocked in the fifth run of the inning, cutting the deficit to 24-7.

While Spanish Springs only pushed across single runs in the third and fourth frames, the Raiders did their best to not let the game end early after five innings.

Reed used two sacrifice flies in the home half of the third to score two runs.

In the fourth, the Raiders rallied for four more, accounting for the final 26-13 margin. Marchant concluded his 3-for-4, two-RBI performance with an RBI double. Roberto Velazquez had an RBI single in the fourth.

Spanish Springs 12, Truckee 1

In the Cougars’ morning game, Chadd Little tossed a two-hitter and got plenty of help from his offense to take down the 3A Wolverines in the five-inning game.

Mannens, batting from the leadoff spot, came around to score four times.

Bray provided much of the run-scoring opportunities. The senior ripped a two-run double in the first and belted out a three-run bomb in the second as Spanish Springs put up four runs in the first and second innings to grab an 8-1 edge.

The Cougars added two runs in both the third and fourth.

“We hit the ball real well this whole weekend, not just today,” Hofmann said. “I think we scored 10 or more runs every game except against Douglas yesterday. You’ve got to like your chances when you’re scoring 10 or 12 runs a game.”

Spanish Springs (5-0) opens league play Tuesday at Damonte Ranch.

Douglas 11, Reed 10

The Raiders entered into a see-saw battle with the Tigers but came out on the short end in the one-run game.

Douglas jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a four-run top of the second, but Reed was not about to get blown out for the second time in the day.

The RHS nine scored two runs in the bottom of the second and knotted the game up at 5-5 with three in the third. Stroberg put a charge into a 1-0 pitch and cleared the left-field fence with one runner on, cutting the gap to 5-4.

Freshman Joey Dice launched a double to the warning track in left field in the second straight inning. His second two-bagger knocked in the tying run.

Both teams matched each other the next two innings, scoring one run in the fourth and two in the fifth, leaving the score tied at 8-8. Douglas’ run in the sixth on the first of two Cody Begovich sacrifice flies proved to be the difference.

In the seventh, again both teams matched each other. After the Tigers tallied two runs to go up 11-8, Reed almost pulled off a comeback to salvage a split. But it was not in the cards.

Down to their final out, the Raiders kept their hopes alive when Ryan Butler beat out an infield single, finishing off a 4-for-5 effort. Spencer Jones walked to the plate and went deep over the left-field fence, but Reed would leave the tying run on base. Jones had three hits and three RBI, including a double to go with his home run.

“It was a rough day. We played better in the second game, but it comes down to pitching,” Reed baseball coach Ray Charles said. “Too many walks and too many hitter’s counts. When you get teams like Douglas and Spanish Springs, they’re going to hammer you.”

Reed (2-3) is back in action Tuesday at McQueen. First pitch is slated for 3:45 p.m.
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Cougars thump Raiders by Aaron Retherford

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