Cougars win on ninth inning walk-off
For the second time in three days, the Douglas Tigers and Spanish Springs Cougars engaged in a Northern 4A baseball slugfest that came down to the final pitch.
This time, the Tigers were victims of a walk-off decision when Spanish Springs returned the favor on Saturday to pull out a 10-9 victory at home in Sparks thanks to a ninth inning rally. Douglas (3-3 conference, 6-5 overall) was unable to protect an early six-run lead and then missed an opportunity to break the game open after taking a 9-8 lead in the top of the ninth. Instead, Spanish Springs (5-1 conference, 9-2 overall) capitalized in the bottom half of the inning when Marlin Brucato scored on Colton Foreman’s one-out, bases-loaded single to break a 9-9 tie.
This was simply a longer version of the game these two teams played on Thursday when the Tigers rallied from an early 10-run deficit and scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to win 16-15 in Minden.
A power surge helped the Tigers move out to a 5-0 advantage in the third inning and 6-0 in the fourth. Douglas loaded the bases in the third, thanks to a pair of walks and an error, then Haden Keller pulled a grand-slam to right field. In the fourth, Tristan Futch took a 1-2 pitch deep for a solo home run over the left field fence.
Spanish Springs scored five times in the sixth to tie the score 8-all and force extra innings. The Cougars had an opportunity to win in the eighth with runners on second and third, however, Douglas reliever Hunter Simpson worked out of the jam when he set down the next two batters on a pop fly and strikeout.
In the top of the ninth, Ayden Murphy walked with the bases loaded to put Douglas on top, 9-8. The Tigers’ bid to extend their lead ended when Brucato came on to pitch in relief and retired the side on a full-count strikeout.