Here’s a quick rundown of their games.
•The Spanish Springs 12-year-old All-Stars only had to beat one team in the state tournament, so it was a bit challenging to measure the squad’s talent level.
Still, manager Mark Prizina was confident before heading off to Hawaii to face the best teams from the Pacific Southwest Regional. That confidence might have waivered after Tuesday’s back-to-back games.
Nevada couldn’t produce much offense in its opener, falling 8-4 to Central California (NW Bakersfield). The boys from Spanish Springs brought their bats to the second game, but it didn’t matter.
Northern California (Elk Grove) was just too tough. Nevada lost 14-9 to drop to 0-2 in pool play. Only the top two teams in the two pools qualify for the single-elimination bracket.
Nevada will try to keep its hopes of advancing to bracket play alive when it takes on Arizona (Surprise) today at 10 a.m. and the Hawaii host (Manoa) Thursday at 10 a.m.
•Spanish Springs had no problems at the 11-year-old state tournament, but Nevada had to overcome some adversity in the first game of pool play at regionals in Beaver, Utah.
Nevada watched Southern Utah (Carbon) rally for four runs in the top of the sixth inning thanks to several miscues by the home team to knot the game at 8-8.
Derek Mannens led off the bottom of the last inning with a single and stole second. However, the next two batters got out for Nevada, leaving it up to Tanner Smith, who had pitched five innings and left the game with the 8-4 lead.
Smith came through with a clutch two-out base hit to right-center field, driving in Mannens from second base for the game-winner in Nevada’s 9-8 victory. Had Smith not come through, the game would have ended in a tie and would have hurt Nevada’s chances to advance as one of the top two teams in its pool.
“I’m real happy with the game as a whole, but it should have been a much bigger win than it turned out to be,” manager Wayne Smith said. “We’re glad to win a game like that. At this regional tournament, all the teams are good.”
Smith and Dawson Martin both belted out two hits and drove in three runs to lead Nevada. Chris Samir contributed a big two-run base knock in the third inning.
Nevada plays again today at 12:30 p.m. against Northern California (Oakland), a team that is one of the favorites to win the Bill Ripken pool.
•The Spanish Springs 10-year-olds are the only team not participating in pool play and are competing strictly in a double-elimination tournament in Bakersfield, Calif.
That tournament run came to a halt Tuesday night after dropping a 12-0 decision to Southern California (Los Altos).
Nevada lost its tourney opener 7-5 to Arizona (Somerton) in extra innings Sunday. Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Nevada rallied for three runs to force extras. But Arizona pushed across a pair of runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to earn the victory.
However, Nevada claimed its first elimination game Monday against Guam. Connor Culp pitched three innings to pick up the win on the mound. Coach Damon O’Connell said the team hit well as a unit as Nevada took the 13-3 win in four innings.
But that was as good as it got for the local squad as it ran into a team that smashed the ball and played solid defense behind its pitching.
“When you get to regionals, no team is weak so it doen’t matter who you play,” O’Connell said. “They hit the ball well and made some great defensive plays.”
•The Spanish Springs 9-year-olds stormed out of the gates Tuesday in Panguitch, Utah, taking down Southern Utah (Richfield), 11-2 in four innings. In the top of the fifth, umpires halted the game due to lightning.
Nevada’s Mason Whittaker pitched a no-hitter, allowing just two unearned runs in four innings.
At the plate, Jacob Galletti led the way with a 3-for-3 performance, knocking in a trio of runs. Tyler Eastland also had three RBIs, going 2-for-3. Ryan Lujan was 2-for-3 with two ribbies and Colby Durski scored three runs.
Nevada pushed across two runs in the first, five in the second and four in the third, but couldn’t get that 12th run to institute the 10-run mercy rule.
Nevada takes on Central California (Tulare) today at 3:30 p.m.
“To get that first win under our belt is phenomenal. To actually get a win under our belt, gives us confidence going into our next game,” coach Brad Durski said. “It was fantastic for us. It’s fantastic for the Spanish Springs community. All the families were here.”
•It wasn’t a good start for the 8-year-old All-Stars, who were without manager Matt Turley due to his son needing surgery. However, Turley did speak with his coaching staff and he was told the Bakersfield, Calif. team played like 10-year-olds and were head and shoulders above anything they had ever seen.
NW Bakersfield, the representative from Central California, won the opener of pool play by over 20 runs, in Riverton, Utah Tuesday.
After scoring only two runs against Central California, Nevada will attempt to rebound and finish as one of the top two teams in the Bill Ripken pool when it takes on Southern Utah (Carbon) at 6:30 p.m. today and Northern Utah (Lone Peak) at 11 a.m. Thursday. The top two teams from each pool advance to the single-elimination round, which starts Friday.