In the nightcap, the Cougars only scored in two innings, but made the most of those innings by pushing across seven runs in the first and five runs in the sixth to institute the 10-run mercy rule with a 12-2 victory over McQueen.
After McQueen scored one run in the top of the first, when leadoff hitter Nick Agliolo went deep against SSHS pitcher Chase Hauder, Spanish Springs took the lead for good in its half of the inning.
Vinny Agliolo tied the game with an RBI single, and he came home on a Jake Haley RBI double. Hauder also knocked in a run with a single. Kory Glatther picked up an RBI by drawing a bases loaded walk. An RBI fielder’s choice, passed ball and wild pitch forged the Cougars into a 7-1 lead.
Terrance Hammond cut the deficit to 7-2 with a run-scoring base hit in the top of the third, but the Lancers couldn’t get any closer.
In the bottom of the sixth, Haley blasted a two-run home run. Glatther got another easy RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced. Matt Mannens’ two-run single ended the game.
Hauder recorded the pitching win by working four innings of six-hit ball. He gave up two runs, while walking one and striking out two.
Jeff McCusker pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
In the first game of the day, Spanish Springs pitchers Gehrig Parks and Agliolo combined on a one-hitter, shutting out North Valleys 6-0 to advance and set up the matchup with McQueen.
Parks went the first five innings to record the win. He allowed the only hit, while walking three and striking out seven. Agliolo struck out four and walked two over the final two frames.
“They’re real aggressive offensively and they’ve got some guys who can really swing it,” SSHS baseball coach Ben Hofmann said of the Panthers. “(Gehrig) was able to get ahead for the most part early. He had a good curveball today and a good change. With that in mind, good things happened.”
The Cougars didn’t get much offense off the Panthers, but timely hitting was all they needed.
In the bottom of the second, Agliolo led off with an infield hit. He went from first to third on a double just inside the right-field line by Hunter Pinto. Agliolo came home on an infield groundout by Hauder, breaking the scoreless tie.
Spanish Springs broke the game open with a three-run third inning.
Kenny Semenko drew a leadoff walk to initiate the rally.
A McCusker flyball was dropped in the outfield. However, Lucas Jones, who had been hit by a pitch, was thrown out at second base on the force out, leaving runners on the corners with two outs.
The Cougars took a 2-0 lead with a double steal.
Pinto drove in McCusker with a line drive to shallow right field, and two batters later, a Parks single up the middle knocked in Pinto for a 4-0 advantage.
Spanish Springs added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a throwing error to first base.
Pinto was the lone Cougar with two hits.
Spanish Springs will play again Wednesday night at Carson High. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.