Spring Creek comes back to sweep Fallon
Elko Daily Free Press
SPRING CREEK — One day after shutting out the defending league champs, the Greenwave baseball team dropped a doubleheader as Spring Creek snapped its four-game losing streak.
The Spartans won the first game with a walk-off home run off the bat of Jon Jund in the bottom of the seventh to win 3-2 and cruised to a mercy-rule 10-0 victory in the late game. Fallon dropped to 5-4 in the 3A and is off until next week when it hosts Fernley.
Fallon starter Hayden Strasdin continued his hot streak on the mound, going 6.1 innings and striking out seven Spartans. But Strasdin ran into trouble in the final inning, surrendering the game-winning home run to Jund.
Jund was the hero in the first game of the day but Matt Millis appeared to be putting his team in a position to shut out the Greenwave.
Millis pitched his best game of the year and had 11 strikeouts in 6.2 shutout innings. Despite only allowing four base runners, Millis had to be pulled with one out left in the game because he was at his pitch limit for the day.
The normally-reliable Mitch Owsley came into the game and ended up surrendering two runs on three hits before recording the final out of the inning to keep the game tied.
Spring Creek head coach Scott Gilligan said dealing with the pitch-count rule was a bit frustrating but did not think Owsley did anything wrong when he came in from the bullpen.
“We’re going to have to learn to deal with that so it’s nice that we had to run into that,” he said. “Mitch didn’t throw bad. They had some good swings. That’s just baseball. He did what we wanted him to do, come in and throw strikes.”
Despite the rough outing, Owsley was credited with the win after he was picked up by his teammate in the form of the walk-off homer from Jund that cleared the fence over the left-center field gap. Jund has been seeing the ball well lately and has hit four home runs this season.
Even though he has hit for more power this season, Jund said he was not looking to hit the walk off in his at bat.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to drive,” he said. “I was looking for my pitch, trying to get on base and I just happened to hit one out.”
The late-game heroics also overshadowed some timely hitting Spring Creek got earlier in the game. Matt Shanks continues to make solid contact and had an RBI single in the third inning and Thomas Ledford got what proved to be an important RBI when he knocked in a run in a pinch-hit at bat.
Alex Mendez led Fallon at the plate with two hits and an RBI, while Sean McCormick drove in one and Chase Irvin and Hayden Strasdin each had a hit.
After playing a tight game earlier in the day, Spring Creek really got the bats going in the series finale off Fallon starter Brenden Larsen and relievers Nick Sanches and Brandon Rau. Dakota Larson ran into a little bit of trouble early and had runners on the corners with one out.
Jake Webb, though, came up with an accurate throw to second base on a steal attempt that helped snuff out the rally.
With the Greenwave failing to convert on their best scoring opportunity of the game, the Spartans took it to them in the middle innings and scored nine runs in the second and third. Fallon recorded four hits on the game, including one each by Jake Wickizer, Colton Coverston, McCormick and Mendez.
Sheldon Wilkinson, Shanks, Jund and Owsley all had two RBI in the game.
While the offense exploded, Larson settled in and kept the Greenwave in check. He went five innings and had three strikeouts
Gilligan said the entire team contributed to Saturday’s wins.
“Those were team wins. Everyone contributed,” he said. “Almost everybody got a hit today. Thomas Ledford got a huge hit in the first game and Jake Webb caught the ball well. He threw out a couple of guys and they didn’t try to steal again.”
Spring Creek will have to start getting ready for their series against Fernley but Gilligan said getting two out of three games from Fallon will be a big boost to the team’s confidence.
“We played pretty good the last two losses but getting those two wins was good for our psyche,” he said. “I was really happy with our pitching this series and our bats came alive.”
Fallon wins series opener
After making some noise on offense in their last game, Spring Creek baseball’s bats fell silent against tough Greenwave pitching in Friday’s 2-0 loss.
The Spartans were kept in check by Alex Mendez, who consistently hit his spots throughout the game and had all of his pitches working. Mendez only surrendered one hit and struck out eight in his complete-game shutout over Spring Creek.
Edgar Alvarado and Jack Swisher each drove in a run, while Mendez, Brock Uptain and T.J. Fagg each had hits to push Fallon past the Elko County school.
Matt Shanks was the only Spartan to get a hit when his would-be double was cut off quickly by Fallon’s outfielders and the hitters behind him could not get him into scoring position.
For most of the game, Thomas Anderson matched Mendez pitch for pitch. Anderson pitched to contact and got four strikeouts while surrendering five hits and two runs in six innings of work.
The only trouble Anderson dealt with came in the sixth inning when the Greenwave scored both of their runs. Fallon used a walk and a couple of doubles to push two runs across and gave Mendez all the run support he would need.
Michael Armstrong finished the game on the mound for Spring Creek after Anderson hit his pitch limit, but the sixth inning was too much for Spring Creek to come back from as all the hard hit balls in the bottom of the seventh resulted in outs.