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SSHS baseball rallies to win league opener at Damonte
by Dan Eckles
Mar 15, 2011 | 1121 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A little late-inning offensive magic propelled the Spanish Springs Cougars to a 7-6 prep baseball win at Damonte Ranch in the league opener for both schools Tuesday.

Spanish Springs did not score through the first four innings but pushed across seven in its last three at bats to pull out the come-from-behind victory. At one point, the visiting Cougars trailed 6-0, but they overcame the deficit to stay perfect, improving to 6-0 on the young season.

“This is not going to be the last one-run game we see this year,” Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. “The more we see and be successful, it's good. We were actually down 6-0 at one point. On a cold miserable day it would have been pretty easy to mail that one in but our guys did a good job. We had good approaches all day and finally it started to pay off in the late innings.”

The SSHS nine trailed 6-5 after six innings but got two runs in the top of the seventh to steal a win in the conference clash. Tanner Oates singled, and one out later, Chase Kittilsen walked. Kendall Murphy followed with a two-run triple to account for the go-ahead scores and cap the comeback.

Damonte Ranch scored a single run in the bottom of the first. The 1-0 margin stayed intact until the bottom of the third when the host Mustangs did the bulk of their damage, putting up five runs. Justin Bridgman had an RBI single for Damonte and Alec Hernandez ripped a two-run single in the Mustangs' rally. The south Reno club also caught a break as Spanish Springs committed its lone error of the contest and it resulted in two Damonte runs.

The outburst left Damonte with its 6-0 lead after three innings. It was all down hill from there for the hosts. The two teams traded zeros in the fourth, but in the top of the fifth, Spanish Springs finally got on the scoreboard with a trio of runs.

With one out, Shane Lawson was hit by a pitch. Next, Matt Mannens hit a ground ball back to the mound that resulted in a Damonte error. Then, Oates stepped into the batters' box and bashed a three-run dinger, cutting the Damonte lead in half, 6-3.

In the top of inning six, Spanish Springs cut into the lead further, tacking on two more runs. Malcolm Anderson singled to lead off the SSHS sixth. After a strikeout, Garek Tauchen was hit by a pitch, putting a pair of Cougars on base. Lawson scored both by rapping out a two-run double.

Anderson got the starting nod on the mound for Spanish Springs. He went five and a third innings, allowing all six runs, but just four were earned. He struck out four and walked two, but did not get the win.

Jake Bray picked up the win for Spanish Springs in relief, getting the final five outs of the game, without allowing a run.

“Malcolm got a little flustered in the third but I was very pleased with the way he was able to refocus after that big inning,” Hofmann said. “He came out and gave us another two and a third innings of good baseball. He may be a little disappointed but he did enough to keep us in the game and he gave us chance in the end.”

The two teams resume their two-game series Thursday at Spanish Springs with a game at 3:45 p.m.
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