SPARKS – Despite only playing two games, the Elko baseball team is 3-0 on the season and in league play of the Division 3A North.
The Sparks Railroaders – due to a lack of pitching – forfeited Friday’s ballgame, the series then turning into a doubleheader slate.
Elko blasted off wins of 15-0 and 14-0 in Saturday’s twin bill in the Indians’ season openers in Sparks.
In Elko’s first game of the year, the Indians rode a 10-run frame in the top of the second inning and breezed to a 15-0 victory in four innings.
The first run of the season was scored by senior Cooper Jones, who crossed on a groundout RBI by senior Kaleb Martinez for a 1-0 Elko lead in the top of the first inning.
Elko senior pitcher Colby Tiner struck out the first batter he faced but then allowed a single to Bradley Fierro – no harm, no foul.
Tiner picked off Fierro at first base and notched his second punchout to close the first inning.
In the second, the Indians racked up a crooked number on the scoreboard – posting 10 runs for an 11-run lead.
Senior courtesy runner Kohl McIntosh scored the first run of the frame, rolling home on a double to center field by senior Brycen Kelly.
Kelly strolled back to the dish on consecutive extra-base hits, junior Rolando Acosta smoking a triple back up the middle.
Acosta scored on a groundout RBI by senior Christian Quintana for a 4-0 advantage, and Jones drilled another knock for extra bases with a two-bagger to center.
He immediately scored on an error at shortstop from a groundball by senior Carter Alvarado, who gave the Indians a 6-0 lead as he cruised around on an RBI base knock by Martinez to opposite-right field.
Tiner was hit by a pitch, senior Austyn Marin reached on an error at second base and sophomore Luke Blair tallied an RBI single to second base – driving in Martinez for a 7-0 lead.
The inning was far from over with only one out, Kelly sending a two-RBI poke to right field – scoring senior courtesy runner Lukas Nelms and Marin – Elko opening a 9-0 cushion.
McIntosh scored on a fielder’s choice for the second out, but Jones drove in Kelly with a hard ground ball the opposite way – the Indians taking an 11-0 advantage.
The Indians retired the Railroaders in the bottom half of the second – junior Cutler Macias striking out the side – and Elko went back to work offensively in the top of the third.
Senior Jacob Kath reached base after a dropped-third strike, Macias found first base after an unsuccessful fielder’s choice and junior Jaren Gillespie loaded the bases with a single to right field.
With the bases crammed, senior Lupe Ortiz was hit by a pitch – driving in Kath – and junior Max Shurtz ripped a groundball to left field scored Macias.
Sophomore Jake Zeller drove in Gillespie with a groundout for the third and final run of the frame – Elko on top big, 14-0.
Macias went back to the mound and shut down Sparks one-two-three in the bottom of the third, striking out each batter he faced.
He then stepped in the box and hammered a one-out triple in the top of the fourth, scoring the final run of the contest on a two-out, dropped-third strike to Ortiz – allowing the Indians the chance to close the game in bottom half because of the 15-run rule.
The Railroaders placed their first-two batters on base in the bottom of the fourth – Edward Hawkins drawing a leadoff walk and Fierro tagging a double to left field – but Zeller hit the cutoff at shortstop, Macias firing to Acosta at third for the out.
Senior pitcher Ronin Rowley picked up the save, striking out consecutive hitters to seal the deal.
Elko ripped off a 15-0 victory in four innings in its season opener.
Kelly led the Indians with three RBIs and finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a double – scoring two runs of his own – and Martinez (1-for-2) and Quintana each drove in a pair of runs.
Jones scored twice, stole two bases and hit 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, Acosta also batting 2-for-3with a triple – driving in a run and scoring another.
Macias finished 1-for-2 with a three-bagger and scored twice, and he was lights out on the mound in two innings of work – throwing a no-hitter and striking out six without allowing a walk.
McIntosh also crossed home twice for the Indians.
Tiner picked up the win in one inning, allowing one hit and fanning two batters without a free pass.
Rowley closed the show – allowing one hit and a walk with two Ks over one inning.
ELKO – 1(10)3 1 – (15)(12)0
SPARKS – 000 0 – 024
The Indians closed the series with another lopsided shutout, winning 14-0 in the second half of the double dip.
Elko juiced the bases to lead off the top of first inning – each batter reaching on walks – Jones scoring from third on a passed ball, Tiner cramming the bases full once more with the fourth free pass of the frame.
Alvarado scored on a wild pitch, Marin packed the paths with the fifth walk and Martinez gave the Indians a 3-0 lead when Kelly was hit by a pitch.
Sparks turned a double play on a groundball by Acosta, but he notched an RBI as Tiner scored – Marin giving Elko a 5-0 advantage on two-out single by Gillespie.
The Railroaders placed their first-two hitters on base in the bottom half, Hawkins thumping a leadoff double and Tanner Crow wearing a pitch.
Elko sat down the next-three batters in order – Jones catching a fly ball in center field and Kelly tossing consecutive punchouts.
Jones drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second, stole a base and scored on an RBI base knock by Alvarado.
Sparks turned a 9-1 double play, but Tiner extended the inning with a single to left field – Marin drawing a walk.
Tiner stole third base and scored on an error on the mound – Marin taking second on the play – and Kelly gave the Indians an 8-0 lead as he sent Marin home on a base knock .
Kelly struck out the side in order in the bottom of the second – giving him five Ks through two innings – and Jones single-handedly opened a 9-0 lead with two outs in the top of the third.
He was hit by a pitch, stole second and third – dashing to the dish on an error behind the plate.
Elko continued to pitch a shutout in the bottom half – despite allowing a leadoff walk and a two-out error at third base – gunning down a runner at second base, Tiner fielding a groundout at shortstop and Marin taking another grounder at second base.
Martinez led off the top of the fourth with walk, swiped a bag and scored on a single to left field by Tiner.
Zeller placed runners on second and third with a one-out double to left field, and Acosta plated two runs – driving in Tiner and Macias with a base knock back up the middle.
Gillespie brought Acosta back around with a double to center field, and Quintana gave Elko a 14-0 lead with an RBI single to right field – driving in Gillespie.
Fierro reached on a leadoff error at third in the bottom half, but the next-two batters fell victim to strikeouts by Zeller – who walked consecutive hitters – escaping a baes-loaded jam with his third punchout of the inning.
Sparks faced the minimum in the top of the fifth – Elko striking out three times – but the Indians also faced the minimum in the bottom half, despite giving up a one-out walk.
Crow drew a free pass but was hosed at second base on an attempted steal by a throw from Gillespie, and a popup to Shurtz at first closed the series.
The Indians eased to a 14-0 victory in five innings.
Gillespie went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and drove in a pair of runs – scoring one of his own – Acosta hitting 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Kelly batted 1-for-2 and drove in two runs, and Tiner scored three times and stole three bases – hitting 2-for-2 – Jones scoring three times without an at-bat, racking up four steals.
Martinez and Marin scored a pair of runs apiece for the Indians.
Kelly picked up the win, allowing no runs on Sparks’ only hit with five Ks and no walks over two innings.
In middle relief, Zeller went two innings and struck out three with three free passes.
Kath earned the save and threw a frame – walking one batter without allowing hit.
ELKO – 531 50 – (14)92
SPARKS – 000 00 – 015
The Indians will play their home opener against South Tahoe (5-1 in league) at 2 p.m. Friday, at Upper Kump Field, the three-game home stand closing with a doubleheader at 10 a.m. and noon Saturday.