Spartans take weekend series from Greenwave
Elko Daily Free Press
SPRING CREEK — Throughout the season, the Spring Creek baseball team has made timely plays.
Big outs, key pitches, huge defensive plays – clutch hits.
No hit to this point of the season has made the impact, the sound or came at a more crucial juncture than Saturday’s walk-off dinger to left-center field by senior Max Shanks.
The knock not only gave the Spartans a 2-1 win over Fallon in the series finale, it also broke a tie in the series standings – giving Spring Creek the head-to-head advantage.
The win was much needed – following a 6-1 loss for Spring Creek in the morning game of the doubleheader – the Spartans booking the three-game slate with wins of 7-4 and 2-1.
In the first half of the twin bill, the Greenwave scored five of their six runs in the top of the second inning – adding another in the top of the sixth inning – evening the series at a game apiece with a 6-1 victory.
Sophomore Shaw Lee got things started with a double, runners placed on the corners with a single by senior Brenden Larsen.
Lee and Larsen each crossed on a two-run base knock by junior Reile Cole, and senior Daniel Seline scored on a passed ball.
Junior Tommy McCormick gave Fallon a 5-0 lead with an opposite-way base knock to right field.
Spring Creek’s lone run of the contest came in the bottom of the fifth inning, junior Kyle Owsley sending in junior Tanner Knudsen.
With its lead at 5-1, Fallon added another run in the top of the sixth – the Wave riding the complete-game effort by senior pitcher Hayden Strasdin for a 6-1 victory.
Over seven innings, Strasdin allowed one run on six hits – none for extra bases – striking out six batters.
In defeat, senior Jay King allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits – firing 11 strikeouts against five walks.
Senior Hunter Buzzetti posted the Spartans’ only multi-hit hit performance and finished 2-for-3.
Owsley went 1-for-3 and notched Spring Creek’s lone RBI, Knudsen scoring the only run for the Spartans.
Seniors Brock Gilligan and Clay Campbell and junior Adam Davis each went 1-for-3 at the plate and rounded out the hitting for Spring Creek.
The second game of the doubleheader and the third of the series was a defensive battle to say the least, the Spartans and the Greenwave combining for just five hits in the contest – Shanks’ bomb serving as the difference maker in the contest, the series and league standings.
King made a tremendous grab on a line drive to close to the top of the third inning, and the Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the home half with picture-perfect execution.
Owsley drew a leadoff walk and took second base on a passed ball.
He advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt by Campbell, Gilligan driving in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field – Owsley darting down the line for a one-run advantage.
With Gilligan on the mound, the Greenwave were retired in order for third-consecutive inning in the top of the fourth – the frame ending with a 6-3 groundout from King to Shanks at first base.
The Spartans went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, senior Nate Galusha gave the Greenwave their first hit with a two-out single – stranded by a 6-4 fielder’s choice from King to senior Brendyn Taylor at second base.
Spring Creek was unable to add to its lead in the home half, Lee striking out a batter and forcing a pair of fly outs to senior Sean McCormick in center field.
Fallon knotted the ballgame in the top of the sixth.
Junior Brock Richardson led off with a double to right field, advanced third base on a sac fly to center field by Sean McCormick – Owsley’s throw to the cutoff and third base appearing to nail Richardson with a tag by Davis.
Ruled safe, Richardson scored on a sac fly to right field by Tommy McCormick, making the score 1-1.
Senior designated hitter Edgar Alvarado followed with a two-out base knock, but King ended the inning with another incredible, leaping grab at short on a rocket line drive off the bat of Lee.
In the bottom half, the Spartans fell one-two-three – flying out to center, grounding out to second base and Lee notching the third out with a quick-reaction stab on a comeback liner to the mound from King.
Spring Creek gave itself a chance for a walk-off win with a one-two-three defensive effort in the top of the seventh, the frame finished off with a fly ball to Taylor at second base.
Batting cleanup, just one hitter saw the plate in the bottom of the seventh – Shanks.
The solo homer – his third of the season and second of the series – gave the Spartans a 2-1 victory.
The deep shot was arguably Spring Creek’s lone hit of the contest.
Senior James Testerman was given credit for a single for a two-out single in the bottom of the second on a play that could have easily been recorded as an error at shortstop.
Shanks’ homer and Testerman’s questionable base knock served as the only hits of the game for the Spartans, Shanks driving in himself for the game-winning RBI.
Gilligan tallied the other RBI for the Spartans, his sac fly scoring Owsley for Spring Creek’s first run.
For the Wave, Galusha and Alvarado each finished with a single – Richardson’s leadoff double in the top of the sixth marking Fallon’s only extra-base hit.
He scored Fallon’s lone run on a sac fly by Tommy McCormick for the Greenwave’s only RBI.
Each pitcher went the distance, Gilligan earning the win – allowing one run on three hits with a strikeout and a walk over seven innings.
Lee took a tough loss, allowing two runs on just two hits with four strikeouts and two free passes.
Spring Creek (15-6 in league) is tied with both Fallon and South Tahoe in the 3A North standings, but the Spartans own the head-to-head tiebreaker against both clubs.
The Spring Creek baseball team wasn’t perfect Friday afternoon, but the Spartans made plays when they had to.
In a back-and-forth, seesaw battle – Spring Creek gained a crucial 7-4 victory over No. 2 Fallon.
The first score of the game was notched by the Spartans in the bottom of the second inning.
With two outs, junior Adam Davis went the opposite way for a single to right field.
Senior James Testerman placed runners at the corners with a base knock up the middle.
With junior designated hitter Tanner Knudsen at the plate, Davis plated the first run on a passed ball.
The Greenwave responded with their most successful frame of the contest in the top of the third, making a two-out rally of their own.
Senior Sean McCormick walked and junior Tommy McCormick was hit by a pitch.
Senior Edgar Alvarado drove in Sean McCormick with a line drive to left field – the Spartans not holding the cutoff – allowing Tommy McCormick to take third base.
Junior courtesy runner Brock Richardson stole second base – the throw to the bag winding up in the outfield – allowing Tommy McCormick a free trot down the line, Fallon taking a 2-1 lead.
The Spartans answered with a three-run home half.
An error in right field allowed senior Clay Campbell to reach base on what should have been a free trip to second, winding up there anyway with a sacrifice bunt by senior Brock Gilligan.
Senior Jay King won a lengthy battle at the dish – fouling off numerous pitches – finally hitting an infield single deep in the hole behind third base.
King stole second and Campbell took home – tying the score 2-2 – senior Max Shanks also winning a long appearance at the plate, driving in King from third with a base knock for a 3-2 lead.
Senior Hunter Buzzetti also went for a single, and the bases were loaded with a free pass to Davis.
Senior courtesy runner Terren Mitton scored on a fielder’s choice, the Spartans snagging a two-run advantage.
In the top of the fourth, the Greenwave cut the deficit in half.
Senior Chase Irvin nailed a one-out double and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Matthew Davis.
With a mighty hack, the Greenwave tied the game in the top of the fifth.
Alvarado unloaded on an offering for a solo homer, knotting the score 4-4.
Give up a home run, take one back.
In the home half of the fifth, Shanks turned on a pitch and hammered his second deep blast of the season – giving the Spartans the upper hand for good.
Spring Creek allowed one base runner on a throwing error in the top of the sixth, but Shanks shut down the frame with a looking K on a pitch on the outside corner of the plate.
In the bottom half, Spring Creek gained some breathing room.
Following a leadoff out, Knudsen nearly left the yard – his shot to the left-center field gap crashing at the bottom of the fence for a double.
He scored on a base knock by Owsley for a 6-4 lead.
Gilligan roped a double to right field, driving in Owsley for the final run of the contest – Fallon ending the inning with an out at third base on a tag by senior Hayden Strasdin.
The Greenwave threatened mightily in the top of the seventh, loading the bases.
Tommy McCormick led off with a base knock, followed by a single from Alvarado.
Spring Creek sent King to the mound, striking out the first batter he faced.
Senior Brenden Larsen loaded the bases with a one-out base knock, but the second out was recorded with a looking punchout.
With two away, a groundball to short was tossed to second for a 6-4 force – ending the ballgame.
Spring Creek improved to 14-5 in league play with a 7-4 victory, dropping the Greenwave to a matching 14-5 mark – the series hanging on Saturday’s upcoming doubleheader.
Shanks led the Spartans with two hits, driving in himself with a solo home run – finishing with a pair of RBIs.
Knudsen finished with a double, Gilligan adding another two-base rip for an RBI.
Testerman drove in a run with a single, Owsley’s base knock sending in another score.
On the mound, Shanks allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over six innings with three strikeouts and three walks for the win.
King picked up the save, allowing one hit and striking out two batters in an inning of work.