The Railroaders' offense blew open both games, winning each under the 10-run mercy rule. Between the two games on Saturday, the Railroaders pounded out 32 runs and 32 hits while giving up only eight runs.
Sparks head coach Greg Vasko said his team not only did its job on both sides of the ball but also made the most of openings created by its opponent.
"We're hitting the ball but we're also taking advantage of other people's mistakes," Vasko said. "But we made some and gave them some runs."
The Railroaders' offense more than made up for any runs given up by the defense. In the first game Saturday, Sparks won 14-4. Danny Monroe pitched all five innings, giving up just six hits. Highlighting the scoring was a home run by first baseman Chris Haun, his second shot in as many games.
"I'm just trying to get out there and hit the baseball," Haun said after the second game. "It's just a matter of putting a good level swing on the ball."
The Railroaders (15-6, 9-3 3A North) didn't use up all their offense in Game 1 Saturday. In the afternoon game, the team scored 18 runs - 14 in one inning - on as many hits en route to an 18-4 drubbing of the Buckaroos. Adam Garcia pitched four innings, giving up all four runs on six hits, but he made several impressive stabs of comebackers to save additional scoring and help secure the short-game win.
"I was happy with how he was hitting his spots and locations," Vasko said of his game 2 starter.
The Railroaders went into the bottom of the second down 1-0, but during their 14-run half of the inning, the Sparks hitters batted around twice. Shortstop Jake Kozlowski started the inning with a single, followed by a double by third baseman Nic Posey. After second baseman Joe Puccinelli struck out, pitcher Garcia lined a two-RBI stand-up triple past the diving center fielder.
Lowry starting pitcher Gus Ramasco didn't help his cause during the inning, allowing runners to advance on several occasions on wild pitches and hitting Railroader Kent Orta to force in a run later in the inning. After Ramasco was taken off the mound, replacement pitcher Tony Pasquale didn't fare much better, forcing home a run with a walk to Posey and giving up an RBI double to Puccinelli. Garcia, Aaron Quilici and Monroe then collected RBI hits off Pasquale and Orta followed up with run-scoring single off another new pitcher, Danny Custer, before Posey struck out to finally end the inning.
The Buckaroos managed to score two runs in their half of the third inning and another in the top of the fourth before giving up three more to the Railroaders in the bottom of the fourth. Haun came in from first base to take the mound for Sparks in the top of the fifth and got out of a two-on, one-out jam by striking out Mitch Pollock and getting Nick Johnson to pop out to second base.
If the Railroaders are flying high from this weekend's sweep, they will need the confidence going into a game Wednesday against 3A North-leading Dayton.
"(Dayton) will be a tough team. We've got a good week of practice ahead of us," Haun said. "As a team we do feel good because we're working hard. We play well as a team."