Lowry ended Sparks’ season Saturday by handing the Railroaders a 14-9 defeat. With the win, Lowry advances to the 3A State Tournament next week in Mesquite.
“I was proud of how the kids played,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “The kids kept battling and battling. We gave up a couple innings where we gave four or five outs. But I can’t take anything from Lowry. Those guys played a good game and hit the ball. They did what they needed to win and they’ll represent the North well at state.”
Sparks pulled into an 8-8 deadlock in the bottom of the fifth inning after it got an RBI double from Tyler Dresbach and a two-run homer from Martin Jordan.
That’s as good as it got for the Sparks nine. Lowry forged ahead 9-8 with a single score in the sixth and then gave itself a cushion with a five-run top of the seventh.
Lowry drilled Sparks, 13-0, in the opener of the best of three series between the two schools Friday. However, Sparks was a game foe from the get go Saturday.
On Saturday, Lowry jumped ahead 3-0 after the top of the first, thanks in large part to a two-run homer by Dusty Kraft. However, that margin was short-lived. Sparks responded with two runs in its half of the first. Brandon Harris walked and scored and Dennis Morelli doubled and scored for the Railroaders in the first.
Lowry, of Winnemucca, pushed across three more runs in the third, but again Sparks had an answer, posting its own three spot in the bottom of the third.
The visiting Buckaroos extended their lead to 8-5 with single scores in the fourth and fifth, but the host Railroaders would not go away as they eventually tied the game in the fifth on Jordan’s bomb.
Lowry did get some help from Sparks pitching. The Bucks scored their 14 runs on just 11 hits. They took advantage of 12 walks and four hit batsmen en route to the postseason victory.
“I didn’t realize it was that many,” Vasko said of the free passes. “That definitely helps your opponent. That makes it nearly impossible on you.”
Despite defeat, Sparks concluded its most successful season in a decade, finishing with a 17-9 record.