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Sparks baseball, softball take two from North Tahoe
by Tribune Staff
Mar 23, 2013 | 1923 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne -- Sparks sophomore Colin Ray watches his double fly into right field against North Tahoe Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne -- Sparks sophomore Colin Ray watches his double fly into right field against North Tahoe Saturday.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne -- Sparks' Sarah Hanson raps a base hit to left field during the Railroaders' doubleheader sweep of North Tahoe Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne -- Sparks' Sarah Hanson raps a base hit to left field during the Railroaders' doubleheader sweep of North Tahoe Saturday.
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The Sparks baseball team opened Division I-A North Mount Rose league play Saturday, sweeping its home doubleheader against North Tahoe, 3-1 and 10-0.

“It was good to get the first two wins right out of the box,” Sparks coach Greg Vasko said. “We really needed that.”

In the first game, senior Jared Longland earned the win with a complete game effort. Longland struck out 11 Lakers, walked three and gave up three hits while allowing one unearned run.

Both sides pushed home a run in the second inning, but the Railroaders managed two more in the bottom of the third. Sparks then held on the rest of the way to take Game 1 by a score of 3-1.

Keiffer Putman led the way at the dish in the first contest, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Putman then took the mound in Game 2 as the Maroon and Gold had a much easier time of things the second time around, cruising to a mercy-rule shortened 10-0 victory.

Putman pitched 4 2-3 innings for the win, striking out nine while walking one and giving up two hits. Longland then recorded the final out of the game.

Sparks harassed the Lakers in the second inning as it pushed home four runs. Another run in the third inning left the Railroaders up 5-0 before SHS tallied five more runs in the bottom of the fourth to account for the final result of 10-0. North Tahoe helped the cause with five errors as the Railroaders had just six hits with four runs earned.

Casey Carter led the way at the dish with a 2-for-3 effort. Sophomores Colin Ray and Austin Garrick both hit a double as well.

Sparks (6-2, 3-2) will now get set to host a trio of Division I-A crossover games beginning on Friday against squads from the Ruby Mountain League. The Railroaders will first take on Elko at 4 p.m. Friday before squaring off on Saturday against Spring Creek at 9 a.m. and Lowry at 12 p.m.

“We have to keep playing like we did today,” Vasko said. “The crossover games will help with seeding, so if we don’t want to really travel when we get to the playoffs, we’re going to have to pick up a couple wins next weekend."

Softball

Runs and wins have been hard to come by for the Sparks softball program over the years. They got both Saturday.

The Railroaders swept a Mount Rose League doubleheader with 16-0 and 24-3 home wins over North Tahoe.

Sarah Hanson had a home run and three RBI in the first game in which Sparks scored 16 runs on 16 hits.

In the circle, Jocelyn Vasquez struck out seven and walked one in the one-hitter.

In the second game, Riley Regas hit a homer to lead the Maroon and Gold.

"They were excited because they realized if they stay focused and disciplined for an entire game, anything can happen," Sparks softball coach Frank Avilla said. "This was a good game for their confidence."

Sparks (4-7, 2-3) will play Portola Wednesday in a non-league affair.
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