Losses in the first two games of the series Wednesday and Thursday had already saddled Spanish Springs with the HDL’s
fourth and final playoff seed. The Cougars (16-15, 10-8 HDL) will open the Northern 4A Tournament with a first-round playoff at Sierra League champion Douglas. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.
In Friday’s win, Spanish Springs scored three runs in both the first and second innings, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. The Cougars scored in every inning.
Jake Bray and Tanner Oates both doubled to ignite the first-inning rally. After singles by Bray and Adam Miller in the second, Oates crushed a three-run homer.
Spanish Springs scored single runs in the third and fourth and was clinging to an 8-5 edge as it came up in the bottom of the fifth. That’s when the local school, seized firm control, putting together a big five-run rally. Oates cashed in again, bashing a grand slam to highlight the Cougars’ frame.
Oates was 4-for-4 at the plate on the day, finishing with a double, two home runs and eight RBIs.
“We needed to come out and hit the ball well. That was nice. And Tanner Oates had a day,” SSHS assistant coach Ben Hofmann said. “We all knew that when it was 6-1 and 8-3 that we had to keep hitting and scoring. McQueen has just been red hot and we knew we had to keep putting runs on the board.”