The Railroaders scored first in Game 1 but were dominated the rest of the way en route to an 11-4 loss. The visitors then bounced back and were able to protect a lead, salvaging a split with a 9-6 victory.
In the early game, Sparks scored one run in the top of the second only to watch that lead go up in smoke as the Wolverines pushed across four runs in the bottom of the third.
Truckee scored three more in the fifth and four in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Railroaders were able to score one in the sixth and two in the seventh to account for the final seven-run defeat.
Jared Longland hit a solo home run for the Maroon and Gold. No Sparks player had more than one hit as Truckee held the Railroaders to six hits. Casey Carter drove in a run for Sparks, and Austin Garrick’s sacrifice fly plated another.
Dustin Alexander was saddled with the loss on the mound. He gave up five earned runs on five hits, seven walks and one hit batsman. He struck out four in 5 1-3 innings of work.
In Game 2, Sparks played a clean defensive game, while taking advantage of six Truckee errors.
Travis Dulgar and Carter both rapped out two hits apiece. Collin Ray drove in two runs, while Dulgar, Garrick and Tyler Crow each had an RBI.
Sparks enjoyed an 8-1 lead after the top of the third, but the Wolverines rallied for three runs in the bottom of the third to keep it close. After a two-run fourth, Truckee closed the gap to 8-6, but couldn’t get closer. The Railroaders added one more run in the top of the sixth.
Carter pitched three innings of relief, earning the victory, despite allowing five runs. He gave up seven hits, three walks and struck out four. Longland pitched the final 3 1-3 innings, holding Truckee scoreless and to one hit.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have in the first game. We got ahead but fell behind a little bit,” Sparks baseball coach Greg Vasko said. “In the second game, we got ahead and stayed ahead. Overall, I was happy with the second game.”
Sparks (14-7, 11-7) must wait until Wednesday to find out its opponent for the postseason.