The Sparks baseball team was six outs from stealing its league opener at Lowry on Friday afternoon.
Two weeks after losing a non-league contest to Lowry, 12-0, the Railroaders (3-2, 0-1) led the Buckaroos 5-3 going to the bottom of the sixth.
They say the final outs are the toughest to get.
Lowry (4-4, 1-3) scored four times in the bottom of the sixth and went on to win, 7-5.
The Railroaders actually outhit the Buckaroos in the loss, 10-9., but were done in by stranding nine runners on base.
Matt Longland went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Bruce Hicks finished 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs.
After Lowry took a 3-0 with three innings complete, Sparks exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth.
That lead held until Lowry’s big bottom of the sixth.
Hicks went the distance for Sparks, allowing seven runs (four earned) on nine hits. He struck out seven and walked just one.
Sparks will play a doubleheader at Lowry on Saturday. First pitch is at 11 a.m.
Softball squad falls in five
The Sparks softball team finally started its season on Friday at Lowry.
Effects of the late start were maybe apparent against a Buckaroo team (4-2, 4-0) that was playing for the sixth time.
The Railroaders were handled 12-1 in five innings.
Sparks managed a lone hit in the season-opening loss, a Marisa Coleman solo homerun in the top of the fourth.
Coleman’s blast cut the deficit to 7-1 after the Buckaroos scored seven times in the bottom of the first. Lowry answered Coleman’s round tripper with five more runs in its next at bat.
Sophomore Riley Nelson pitched all four innings for the Railroaders, absorbing the loss.
Sparks and Lowry will finish their regular-season series with a doubleheader on Saturday in Winnemucca starting at 11 a.m.