Trevor French was the star of the show for Spanish Springs. The hard-throwing right-hander tossed a six-inning no-hit shutout at the Utah foes. He did walk four but struck out seven as his Spanish Springs teammates played flawless defense behind him. He threw 95 pitches, 58 for strikes in the gem.
"He pitched phenomenal," Spanish Springs coach Damon O'Connell said. "He had all his pitches going. His off-speed stuff was impressive. His fastball was great. It was just a phenomenal game for him. For me, he was above his pitch count, but it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to throw a no-hitter in a regional tournament."
One of French's four walks stood on second base with one out in the top of the sixth. The next Southern Utah hitter mashed a hard liner just inside the third-base line. Spanish Springs third baseman Ryan Brennan dove, snagged the baseball, got up and fired to first base for the second out of the sixth. The key play also kept the no-hitter intact.
"It was pretty awesome," O'Connell said. "You could see all the kids watching and then cheering after the play. They all knew what was at stake without anyone saying a thing."
Spanish Springs was never really threatened. It posted three first-inning runs, and with French dealing on the hill, there was little suspense. Spanish Springs tacked on four more runs in the third to account for the rest of its offense.
Tristan Hussey highlighted the first-inning outburst with a two-run double. Chase Martin and French both singled and scored to lead the four-run parade in the third.
Rylan Espin was the lone Spanish Springs player to record more than one hit in the win as he turned in a 2-for-3 effort.
A day earlier, Spanish Springs committed four errors and gave up four unearned runs in the 5-3 loss to Arizona. Spanish Springs scored two runs in the top of the first but managed only one more run the rest of the way, in the top of the sixth after it had already fallen behind 5-2.
"We came back today and played much better," O'Connell said Tuesday night. "We were focused. We played good baseball. Monday we couldn't play catch. Today, we looked like we could."
Spanish Springs meets Hawaii Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. PDT.
*In Vernal, Utah, the Spanish Springs 11u all-stars played a pair of games Tuesday to open their regional tournament run. Spanish Springs topped Taylorsville, Utah 8-7 in seven innings Tuesday morning before coming up on the short end of a mercy-rule loss, 12-2, at the hands of Simi Valley, Calif. Tuesday night.
In the morning win, Spanish Springs and Taylorsville were deadlocked at 6-6 after six innings, forcing extra play. Taylorsville put up a run in the top of the seventh only to watch Spanish Springs rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to steal the win.
Spanish Springs No. 9 hitter Colby Preston singled and raced to second no an error to lead off the seventh. Leadoff hitter Jake Galletti followed with a single. It looked like Taylorsville might preserve the win after an infield groundout back to the pitcher and infield popup to shortstop. However, that wasn't meant to be as Spanish Springs cleanup hitter Mason Whitaker roped a two-run, two-out game-winning single for the walk-off victory.
The game was a back-and-forth affair. The two teams traded single runs in the second and both scored two in the third for a 3-3 tie. Spanish Springs got two runs in the fourth for a 5-3 edge but it could not keep the momentum.
Taylorsville scored three in the top of the sixth to go ahead 6-5, but Spanish Springs would not be denied. It put up a run in the bottom of the sixth to get into the 6-6 deadlock and force extra innings. Nate Hutson singled and scored in the sixth to tie the game after a single by Morgan Moreno and Colby Durski RBI groundout.
Spanish Springs was outmatched against Simi Valley. The north suburban Los Angeles team scored in every inning, including four-run rallies in the second and fourth frames to help implement the 10-run rule.
Spanish Springs scattered six hits in the loss but no one player had more than one hit. It will meet tournament host Vernal at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
*Back in the Truckee Meadows, the Spanish Springs 8u all-stars were in action, battling regional tournament foes in Sun Valley. Spanish Springs was beaten 13-3 in its tournament opener by Laguna, Calif. Monday and then knocked off 14-4 by Simi Valley Tuesday.
Against Simi Valley, Spanish Springs did get on the scoreboard first. Seth Klenow walked and scored in the top of the first after back-to-back two-out singles by Christian Obos and Bryson Glassco.
That was Spanish Springs' lone lead of the game, which was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Simi Valley responded with three runs in the first and second innings to take control. Spanish Springs tried to hang around. It pushed across two runs in the top of the third to trim Simi Valley's lead to 6-3. Klenow walked and Nate Kiserow tripled for a run. Obos got down a bunt that plated Kiserow.
Simi Valley came back in the bottom of the third and plated two more runs, extending its edge to 8-3. Spanish Springs never got any closer through the remainder of the game.
"Those kids make plays," Spanish Springs coach Billy Doyle said of Simi Valley. "They pitch well. They hit well. They're fundamentally sound ... Really for us, both nights, it's been a couple key plays here and there that has kept innings alive for our opponents and that's been what has hurt us."
Spanish Springs will play Buchanan Wednesday at 2 p.m.