SPRING CREEK – Following a much-needed victory Friday over Fernley, the Spring Creek baseball team could not duplicate the result in Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Vaqueros dominated the morning ballgame 9-0, taking the series with a 3-2 victory in a defensive battle that could not be settled without extra innings.
Fernley jumped on Spring Creek early – posting five runs in the top of the first inning – limiting the Spartans to just one hit for the ballgame.
Senior Kyle Heimbruch scored the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice, senior Josh Kirk tagging up on a sacrifice fly by senior Gabe Wilson for a 2-0 lead.
Senior Zach Burns drove in junior Jay King on the next at-bat for a 3-0 advantage.
Senior Ryan Harer was hit by a pitch, and senior Danny Moreno loaded the bases with a single to third base.
The Vaqueros took a 4-0 lead when sophomore Jake Heimbruch was hit by a pitch with the bases cranked, the lead reaching 5-0 when Kyle Heimbruch was struck by a pitch on the net AB.
Spring Creek was retired in order in the top of the first, and Fernley extended to a 6-0 lead in the top of the second.
Senior Austin Carmack drew a leadoff walk, followed by a double from King.
Carmack came home on a sac fly by Wilson.
The Spartans went three-up, three-down in the bottom half.
In the top of the third, the Vaqueros plated consecutive runs on back-to-back singles by King and Wilson, Kirk and Carmack crossing for an 8-0 lead.
The final run of the game was posted by King on an RBI base knock from Harer with two outs, opening a 9-0 advantage.
Spring Creek’s lone hit of the ballgame came on a two-out single by senior Dakota Larson in the bottom of the sixth.
The Spartans were retired in order in five of the seven innings, finishing the game with only four baserunners.
Burns went the distance on the bump for Fernley, allowing just one hit over seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
At the plate, he finished 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Wilson led the all hitters with three RBIs, followed by two runs driven in by King – who finished 2-for-5 with a double.
Carmack went 2-for-2 and tied King and Kirk for the game-high with two runs scored each.
In a ballgame that produced five total runs, the Vaqueros outhit the Spartans 10 to four.
Spring Creek senior Chris Brunson led off with a walk in the bottom of the first and scored on an RBI groundout by junior Max Shanks for the first run of the game.
Junior Hunter Buzzetti led off the bottom of the third with a double, but the Spartans went down in order on the next three at-bats.
Fernley finally broke its scoreless stretch in the top of the fourth.
Senior Jayce Oliver led off with a triple to right field, scoring on a one-out error in left field on a groundball by Harer.
A base knock by junior Tyler Chapin placed runners on the corners with one out, but the Spartans ended the inning with a 6-4-2 double play – Larson throwing to senior second baseman Caden Jangard, who struck down a run at the plate with a seed to home plate.
Spring Creek could not take advantage of consecutive walks to Larson and senior Thomas Ledford to lead off the bottom of the fourth, the next three hitters retiring in order.
Senior pitcher Levi Yaunick returned the favor in the top of the fifth, setting down Fernley one-two-three, bookending the frame with punchouts.
Each team made bids to break the 1-1 gridlock in the seventh inning.
Chapin drew a leadoff walk in the top half, Jake Heimbruch following with an infield single to the mound.
A sacrifice bunt by Kyle Heimbruch advanced the runners to second and third with one out, but Larson made a fielder’s choice to Buzzetti at the dish and struck down the lead runner.
The top of the inning came to a close with a groundout to Jangard.
Spring Creek made a serious charge to walk off in the bottom half.
Buzzetti walked in the leadoff spot, a free pass handed to Brunson on the second AB.
The Spartans loaded the bases when Jangard was hit by a pitch, but a groundout to first base resulted in a double play – King throwing out Buzzetti at home plate.
A fly out to right field ended the threat, extra baseball.
Harer came up with a two-out triple to right field in the top of the eighth inning, scoring on an error at third base on the next AB.
Shanks ended the frame with a strikeout, Spring Creek trailing 2-1.
Junior Brock Gilligan earned a leadoff walk in the bottom half, a two-out double by Buzzetti tying the game.
Spring Creek’s attempt to walk off ended with a looking strikeout.
Headed to the ninth.
Fernley managed a one-out base knock by Kyle Heimbruch in the top half, but he was stranded by a groundout and a strikeout by Shanks.
Shanks singled to left field with one out in the bottom half, and Ledford drew a two-out free pass – a fly out to center field advancing the contest to the 10th inning.
Burns drew a one-out walk in the top of the 10th – taking second on a groundout – scoring on a two-out single by Chapin up the middle, the biggest knock of the ballgame.
Going to the bottom of the 10th, Spring Creek trailed 3-2 and could not mount a game-tying or game-winning effort.
Fernley took the series with consecutive victories, improving to 5-8 in the Division 3A North and dropping Spring Creek to 6-10 in league play.
Buzzetti led the Spartans with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate and an RBI, both hits going for doubles.
Shanks tallied the Spartans’ other RBI on a groundout.
Brunson and Gilligan scored one run each for Spring Creek.
Chapin went 3-for-4 for Fernley, Harer driving in a game-high two runs with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with a double.
Kyle Heimbruch went 2-for-4, and Oliver and Burns hit one triple apiece.
Spring Creek will host Elko (12-1) at 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Spartans starting a three-game series on the road at 3 p.m. Friday in Truckee (8-4).