Jordan Santos was dominating, Spanish Springs got its usual big inning and the Cougars advanced in the Northern Division I baseball Regional tournament.
Santos, a junior, allowed three hits and struck out four in a complete-game as Spanish Springs beat McQueen, 5-0, Thursday at Peccole Park.
Spanish Springs will play Bishop Manogue at 4 p.m. Friday in a losers’ bracket game, three days after the Miners took a 4-3 win over the Cougars in the first round.
“I just wanted to give my team a chance to get the win,” Santos said of Thursday’s win. “I just did everything I can to keep us in the ballgame, just throw strikes.”
Spanish Springs coach Ben Hoffman said Santos’ good day was not a surprise.
“We’ve known he could pitch,” Hoffman said. “He’s got good competitiveness on the mound. We played good defense behind him and he just built off that and our guys defensively built off of him throwing strikes.”
The big question now for Hoffman is who will pitch Friday.
Ace Ryan Anderson pitched on Tuesday and should be available, as will four other Cougars pitchers.
“We have five guys arguing five different ways,” Hoffman said. “In terms of arms, if you’re 2-1, we’re as good as we can be in terms of arms. So it’s just a matter now of arguing.”
The winner of the Spanish Springs-Manogue game stays alive to play the loser of the Reno-Galena game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Spanish Springs scored three runs in the fifth inning to break the game open over McQueen. Josh Prizina had a triple for an RBI, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly by Carson McCusker.
McCusker has been battling a back injury all season. He said it is a fractured vertebrae in his lower back.
He was hit by a pitch last week, which further aggravated the injury.
Marlin Brucato was 3-for-4 for the Cougars, but appeared to hurt his hand diving back into first late in the game.
McQueen coach Spencer Downie said Santos kept the Lancers off-balance all game with off-speed pitches.
“He was working backwards on us,” Downie said. “Just wasn’t our day, it w s their day. … Our program’s going in the right direction, we’ll be back here next year.”
Drew Clark took the loss for McQueen. He struck out five and allowed seven hits.
MANOGUE 10, CARSON 3: Billy Swope was solid in a relief pitching performance, allowing four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The Miners broke open a 1-1 tie after three innings with two in the fourth. Luke Smith hit a triple to drive in a run, then Mike Davis hit a pop-up down the right field line that dropped in just fair.
Manogue scored for in the seventh to extend the led to 10-3. The Senators loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the seventh, but could not get a run in.
Anthony Galati was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI for the Miners. Dalton Scolari and Jordan Hunt also each had two hits.
“That’s the thing about the playoffs, different people have to step up. It can’t be the same people all the time,” Manogue coach Charles Oppio said.
For Carson, Abel Carter had two hits and Bryce Moyle drove in two.
Galati said it took the Miners a little while to get into the flow of the game. Once they, it was contagious.
“Everyone really got on board and we knew what we could do and we knew could beat Carson,” Galati said. “Everyone was hitting well and everyone was working counts. If someone worked a walk, the next person picked them up with a base hit.”
The Senators hit the ball hard, but the Miners were in the right spots throughout the game, usually deep in the outfield.
“If we’re playing on a regular high school field, those balls leave, but we weren’t and the Manogue coaches did a good job of positioning their fielders and pitching to their strength,” Carson coach Bryan Manoukian said.
RENO 3, GALENA 1: The Huskies had just one hit through six innings, but scratched, clawed, and got hit by pitches, to get the win and the berth in the state tournament..
The North gets two teams in state, which is May 19-21 at Bishop Manogue.
Galena scored in the third inning when the Grizzlies got runners on first and third with two outs. Reno senior pitcher Duncan Wilmot tried a pick-off throw to first and Sami Baig raced home from third.
Reno loaded the bases in the fourth, on three hit batters, then Bradley Thomas singled to right to drive in to. It was the Huskies first hit.
Wilmot struck out three and allowed four hits. Sophomore Brent Thomas relieved him in the sixth and allowed no hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Tyler Assiff got the loss. He allowed two hits and struck out one.
”We just didn’t come up with any clutch hits when we needed to,” Galena coach Dave Kulikowski said. “We let the game get dictated to us instead of us dictating the game and we paid the price.”
The winner of the 7 p.m. game Friday gets the North’s second berth in state.
“We’ve got a resilient team and we’ve got a lot of pitching left and our hitters are too good to stay down,” Kulikowski said. “We’re going to put together some better at-bats and move on from there.”
Reno is trying for its fifth straight Regional championship.
Northern Division I Regional
At Peccole Park
Friday: 4 p.m., Spanish Springs vs. Bishop Manogue. 7 p.m., Sp.Springs/B.Manogue winner vs. Galena