Baseball is game of many clichés. One of them being, ‘the last out is the hardest to get.’
Spanish Springs senior ace Ryan Anderson has undoubtedly heard the phrase. On Tuesday, it cost him a no hitter.
After 6.2 innings of no-hit ball against Bishop Manogue, Anderson just needed to retire Shane Andrews to start the celebration.
However, he left a fastball over the plate and Andrews drove it down the left field line for a double, ending the Nevada commit’s day.
“It was just a fastball down the middle,” Anderson said. “I was just trying to get a strike in there and he hit it. Props to him.”
It was the lone blemish on a masterpiece put together by the lanky southpaw, who led the Cougs (5-1, 1-0) to a 5-1 home win over the Miners (0-3, 0-1) in their DI North opener.
Anderson struck out 13 and allowed one run on one hit over 6.2 innings to pick up his second win of the young season. In his first outing of the season, last Thursday, he threw five scoreless, hitless innings in a 20-0 rout of Central Catholic. He struck out nine and walked two in that outing.
“He was really good today, really good,” Spanish Springs coach Ben Hofmann said. “He had good stuff and I thought for the most part, kept them off balance.”
Hofmann said he determined before the seventh inning that if his senior ace gave up a hit, he would pull him for Joey Arterburn due to a rising pitch count early in the season.
Arterburn gave up a walk and an RBI single before inducing a ground ball to end the contest, preserving an early-season win over the perennially-tough Miners.
“It’s a big win,” Anderson said. “It gets us some good momentum going into the season. I think we (can) just build off it and see what happens.”
The Cougars scored four of their five runs in the bottom of the second.
Carson McCusker led the inning off with a solo home run to left. Following an Alan Lummel single up the middle and a Marlin Brucato bunt base hit, Daulton O’Connell dropped down another bunt.
Bishop Manogue starting pitcher, Callaway Miller, fielded the bunt and attempted to get Lummel at third, but his throw went wide, allowing Lummel and Brucato to score. O’Connell got all the way to third.
Two batters later, Noah Parks sent a deep fly ball to right center that allowed O’Connell to jog home.
The Cougs added another run, their final of the afternoon, the next inning when pinch runner Mason Homsley scored from third on a balk.
“I thought the first couple three or four innings we were good (offensively). Then I thought late. we weren’t quite as focused in some at bats, it seemed like,” Hofmann said. “I think we got to 5-0 and I think everybody felt like ‘well Ryan is on the mound and 5-0 is going to stand up.’”
Miller suffered the loss for the Miners, allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits in five innings of work. He struck out six and walked just one.
Lummel (2-for-3, one run) and Brucato (2-for-2, one run) were the only Cougs to have multi-hit days.
The Cougars will now attempt to complete the regular-season sweep of the Miners on Thursday at Bishop Manogue.
“It (sweep) would be great,” Hofmann said. “We have a lot of work to due tomorrow in practice to get ready. Obviously they’re going to be competitive. They’re a solid ball club. It would be nice, but at the same time we know it’s not going to be easy.”
Raiders continue to roll
Reed’s season-opening win streak reached six games with a 7-1 win at North Valleys in Tuesday’s DI North opener.
Austin Beard was dominant on the hill, striking out 10 and allowing just one unearned run on two hits over 6.1 innings to pick up his second win of the season.
At the plate, he went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs. His second RBI, coming on a single in the top of the seventh inning, helped make up a four-run frame that broke open a narrow 3-1 ballgame.
Brandon Kernan (2-for-4) capped the rally with a two-run single.
The Panthers scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the third that left them down 3-1. Nobody scored again until Reed’s big top of the seventh.
Matt Denn (2-for-3, two runs) and Lincoln Turner (2-for-3, run) joined Beard and Kearnan in the multi-hit parade.
The Raiders will attempt to win their seventh straight and complete the regular-season sweep of the Panthers on Thursday at home. First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.