Prizina, pitching powers Spanish Springs past Bishop Manogue in extras
By Brian Walther, reporting intern
Spanish Springs snuck out a one-run win at Bishop Manogue on Thursday afternoon with big help for the long ball and a stellar pitching performance.
The Cougars won their third straight, 5-4, in eight innings to move to 12-4, 8-3 in 4A North play. The Miners dipped to 8-10, 6-5.
“I thought we played excellent today,” Spanish Springs coach Matt Ortiz said. “We played great defense and Tanner Smith gave us a great start on the mound.”
Smith allowed just two runs on four hits over 5.1 innings but took the no decision. He struck out six and walked two.
Senior catcher Josh Prizina’s second home run of the afternoon, a solo shot in the top of the eighth, was the difference.
Colton Forman struck out one and faced the minimum in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the save.
The two teams were forced to play extras only after the Miners pushed three across in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and the winning run on second, Connor Culp escaped by drawing an infield popup and was awarded the win thanks to Prizina’s second bomb.
“You know, the last inning, you’ve just got to give them credit,” Ortiz said. “I thought they did a good job, they battled back but we were able to take care of it in the next inning.”
Marlin Brucato and Prizina started things for the Cougars in the top of the fourth with back-to-back solo home runs.
Smith doubled the distance in the top of the sixth with a two-run single.
Brucato, Prizina, Smith and Joey Prizina all had two-hit days, accounting for all eight of the Cougars’ hits.
Jonas Whitten started and went five innings for Bishop Manogue, allowing two runs on four hits. He was in line for the loss before the Miners’ offense mounted the seventh-inning rally and tied the game.
Spanish Springs will host Bishop Manogue on Saturday morning.
Raiders snap seven-game skid
The prospects for Reed getting in the win column Thursday afternoon were fleeting.
The Raiders entered on a seven-game losing streak and were on the road against a high-powered Galena team that has taken second in the last two regional tournaments.
The idea of a victory was unlikely. It wasn’t impossible. Enter Will Bannister.
The junior delivered a complete-game, holding the Grizzlies to four runs on eight hits and picked up the win in a 6-4 decision.
He fanned three and walked one as the Raiders jumped to 7-13, 4-7. The Grizzlies lowered to 11-9, 8-3.
Galena brought the tying run the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Bannister closed the door, inducing a game-ending flyout on a full-count delivery.
The Raiders did get their share of help in the win. The Grizzlies committed five errors and handed out nine free passes (seven walks and two hit batters).
Trailing 4-1 in the top of the fifth, Reed pushed three across to tie the game. The three runs came on just two singles, one which stayed in the infield.
Joey Brown’s RBI infield single in the top of the sixth gave Reed its first lead, 5-4. Lincoln Turner scored following his one-out single.
Two errors sandwiched around two walks gave the Raiders an insurance tally in the top of the seventh.
Brown (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Turner (2-for-4, run) and Caleb Ariaz (2-for-4) all head multi-hit afternoons.
Andrew West gave Galena a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run shot.
The two squads complete their regular-season series on Saturday at Reed. First pitch is at 11 a.m.
Cougars roll in three innings
Spanish Springs cruised to 17-4. 9-1 in the 4A North with a 16-1 home victory over winless Wooster on Thursday afternoon. The game lasted just three innings.
The Colts are yet to win a game, other than a Hug forfeit.
Spanish Springs plated 11 runs in the bottom of the first.
The Cougars stay at home on Saturday for a pivotal doubleheader with McQueen – which entered the day just one game behind league-leading Spanish Springs.