Spanish Springs wrapped up pool play with a 7-4 win over the Arizona champion Phoenix Rams Thursday. The local squad opens bracket play Friday at 4:30 p.m.
In Thursday's win over Phoenix, Spanish Springs exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning and forced its Arizona foe to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Jake Galletti singled and Colby Preston crushed a solo homer to center field to initiate the early offense. After an infield popup, Mason Whitaker walked and Austin Hoffman singled. Singles by Tyler Eastland and Morgan Moreno plated two more runs, forging the Sparks-area squad on top 4-0. A walk to Brandon Leary and single by Ryan Lujan brought two more runs home to cap the outburst.
The Rams posted single scores in the second and third inning to trim the Spanish Springs lead to 6-2. Spanish Springs answered with a run in the bottom of the third and and Phoenix never got closer than the final three-run margin.
Spanish Springs got its third-inning run when Colby Durski drew a one-out walk. Lujan followed and was issued another free pass. Galletti stepped in next and singled to saturate the sacks. Durski came home on a wild pitch.
Galletti, Eastland and Moreno all collected a pair of hits to lead the 10-hit Spanish Springs attack.
Whitaker earned the pitching win for Spanish Springs. He allowed all four runs, scattering six hits in a five-strikeout, two-walk performance. Alex Van Dyne came on in the fifth and turned in two scoreless innings of relief work.
"This was a good win for us," Spanish Springs coach Brad Durski said. "Moreno was our MVP today and Preston hit the two-run homer. Van Dyne came in and dominated the fifth and sixth innings pitching."
•In Bakersfield, Calif., the Spanish Springs 12u all-stars saw their summer tournament run come to a close with a 12-3 pool play loss to Hanford, Calif. in the Pacific Regional Tournament Thursday.
Spanish Springs finished pool play 1-3. Its two losses in pool competition prior to Thursday's loss came by a combined three runs.
"We could've been 3-0 going into today's game and then it's a different story. We competed," Spanish Springs coach Damon O'Connell said. "They changed the tournament rules and schedule last week just before we got here. So only the top two teems from each pool go into bracket play instead of the top four. That was frustrating."
Hanford scored in all six innings of Thursday's victory, including a three-run rally in the first, which included two home runs, and a four-run rally in the fourth.
After Hanford got its three runs in the top of the first, Spanish Springs got a single score back in the bottom of the inning. Calvin Bailey reached on a fielder's choice and circled the sacks after a walk, passed ball and RBI groundout.
Trailing 6-1, Spanish Springs tried to get back into contention in the bottom of the third. Three straight singles, by Rylan Espin, Tristan Dahir and Connor Culp, loaded the bases. Unfortunately for Spanish Springs, Bailey hit into a double play. Espin scored on the sequence but it essentially nixed any Spanish Springs hopes of a big momentum-turning inning.
Hanford came back with its four-run fourth and pushed its lead to 10-2, blowing the game open.
Spanish Springs put up its last run in the bottom of the sixth down 12-2. Culp singled with one out and scored after a pair of Hanford errors.
Hanford needed only nine hits to score its 12 runs. It was helped by seven walks from Spanish Springs pitching and five errors by the Spanish Springs defense.
•In the 9u regional tournament, Spanish Springs, the Nevada state champion, lost all four of its pool games. It lost 12-2 to Scottsdale, Ariz. Monday. A day later, it fell 13-3 to Vernal, Utah and 17-2 to Riverton, Utah. Lastly, on Wednesday it fell 23-13 to Rohnert Park, Calif.
•In Sun Valley, the Spanish Springs 8u all-stars were humbled for the fourth-straight day, falling 17-7 to Riverton, Utah.
Spanish Springs raced out to a quick 4-0 lead after the top of the first inning but its advantage was short-lived. Riverton rallied in the bottom of the first, pushing across five unearned runs for a 5-4 edge.
Still, Spanish Springs rebounded. The local squad got one run in the second and two in the third, eventually taking a 7-4 lead to the bottom of the fourth inning. That's when the game got ugly for Nevada state champion Spanish Springs.
Riverton ripped off 12 runs in the bottom of the fourth to steal the win and do so in lopsided fashion, implementing the 10-run mercy rule. Riverton needed just eight hits for its offensive production. It took advantage of five walks and 11 Spanish Springs errors to post the comeback triumph.