The Sparks Centennial Hooligans 1 squad put any questions of superiority to bed with their first trip to the dish. Using a combination of timely hits and mistakes in the field, the Hooligans 1 jumped all over Hooligans 2 in the top of the first inning with a 10-spot.
A number of walks and passed balls helped fuel the barrage. Shortstop Brennan Gilmore capped off the opening inning onslaught with a frozen rope that landed just inside the left field line for an RBI triple before he touched home with an errant throw home for the double-digit advantage.
"This is the best hitting team that I've ever been associated with," SC Hooligans 1 coach Pat Gilmore said. "Every single kid up and down the line absolutely can plaster the ball. Today we had two home runs and they were the first home runs for both of those guys for the whole year and now that means the entire lineup has hit a home run. That's outstanding for a Hooligan All-Star team."
The bottom of the first inning would prove to be the best chance the Hooligans 2 team would have to get back in the game, but nothing came of their efforts. After a pop out on a bunt was quickly turned into two outs with a double up of the runner that had left first base early, the Hooligans 2 put runners on the corners. Eager to get his team on the scoredboard, Alexis Martinez bolted from third to home on a wild pitch but was called out on a bang-bang play at the plate to end the first frame.
Compared to their first turn in the batter's box, the Hooligans 1 team managed little offense in the second inning but it was still able to produce a pair of runs. Center fielder Dylan Collins reached base safely when a throw to first went high, setting the stage for teammate Evan Wombolt. Swinging at the first pitch in the strike zone, Wombolt sent a towering shot over the left-center field fence, giving the Hooligans 2 squad a 12-0 edge.
After walking a trio in the bottom of the first inning, Hooligans 2 starting pitcher Anthony Ocegueda found his groove as he struck out the side in the bottom of the second.
Another run was added to the Hooligans 2 lead in the top of the third before the offense again exploded in the fourth.
After Kameron Soubiea led the top of the fourth frame off with a single to center field, Ocegouda delivered on a home run birthday request from the stands with a two-run shot to straight-away center to leave the scoreboard reading 15-0. Back-to-back singles and an error followed to load the bases before a pair of singles from Wombolt and Jon Kimball singled in a run each for a 17-0 advantage. A pair of bases loaded walks brought the score to 19-0 before three more runs were tacked on. Soubiea came on in relief in the bottom of the third and struck out three to end the game with a final score of 22-0.
The lopsided victory capped off a three-day span in which the Hooligans 1 team outscored its opponents 59-2 in 13 innings of play.
"What we did is almost unheard of, at least that I've ever heard of in the Sparks area," Gilmore said. "We actually no-hit the team in our first game and then tonight we had a two-hitter. We played 13 total innings and 10-run ruled them all. That's saying something. That's really a testament to Centennial coaching for the majors. We played against the other Centennial Hooligans team tonight and they were undefeated, that shows how good the Centennial squad is right now. We're excited about these guys. Going into the tournament on Friday at Washoe these guys should be one of the top seeds. I guarantee you we're going to come out and give them a game. We have no individuals. The entire team is very strong and our pitching is absolutely amazing. We have six guys that are true starters."
Both Sparks Centennial Hooligan Squads will advance in the Hooligan/Renegade Tournament where they will play this weekend at the Washoe Little League Fields starting Friday. For Gilmore and his Hooligans 1 crew, he has to make sure his kids are prepared for the tougher competition that awaits.
"That's the big challenge for me, especially with the way games have ended for us," Gilmore said. "There's a deflation that goes on when you're so up on it and games aren't competitive anymore. The one thing that will get us competitive again is the game, just the game itself. Especially with the rivalry. We have a huge rivalry with Washoe. We've never beat them in the last five years that I've been associated with. We want Washoe and we want Washoe bad. They'll give us a game and so will Reno American and Reno Continental. Between all these groups, I guarantee our kids are really excited to play those rivals."