Spanish Springs (8-0, 3-0) took advantage of four Carson errors to score a trio of unearned runs. Conversely, the SSHS nine did not commit an error, making the host Senators earn all they got on offense. Carson out-hit Spanish Springs 9-6, but could not overcome the fielding miscues.
Spanish Springs led 5-0 after five and a half innings, but watched Carson push across three runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Senators got a double and two singles to start the sixth. That made it 5-1.
Spanish Springs starting pitcher Tanner Oates proceeded to issue a walk that loaded the bases with Carson players. That ended the day for Oates, but his relief staff picked him up.
Cougars reliever Tim Epker gave up a two-run single to the first hitter he faced, trimming the Spanish Springs lead to 5-3. Epker then induced a pop out and got a strikeout-throwout double play to end the inning and nix the Carson threat.
Spanish Springs senior Jake Bray took the hill in the seventh and struck out the side, preserving the Cougars' conference victory. Oates did wind up getting the pitching win. He scattered seven hits while strikeing out two and walking one in five-plus innings of work.
"This was a pitching and defense game," Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. "It was freezing; it was so cold. We played great defense, made some solid plays. Tanner was really good, mixing up fastballs and off-speed stuff. He kept them off-balance and did a good job."
The Cougars took the lead in the top of the third by pushing across a pair of runs. Bray walked and moved up on a wild pitch. He scored when Kendall Murphy hit a ball that went for an error. Murphy scored later in the inning on a Malcolm Anderson single.
The local school upped its edge to 3-0 with a single score in the fourth. Shane Lawson reached on a catcher's interference call. After another Carson error, Oates laced an RBI single to plate Lawson.
Spanish Springs added its last two runs in the fifth. Anderson ripped a one-out double. He scored after a Kyle Clark single and Garek Tauchen single. Clark crossed the plate on a Lawson sacrifice fly.
"I think it is hard to have a good offensive day when it's that
cold," Hofmann said. "It was cold standing there much less trying to swing a bat. Cold weather days are harder on hitters than pitchers. These were two pretty good offensive teams that struggled. It got hard to hit."
Spanish Springs and Carson conclude their two-game league series at SSHS today. First pitch is set for 3:45 p.m.