SPRINGVILLE Spanish Fork's hitters must be getting a little offended at the comments from some that the Dons might struggle this season to score runs.
Because in Friday's 7-3 win over the Springville Red Devils, the Dons' bats finally came alive. The 13 hits they scattered against three Springville pitchers are Spanish Fork's high for the year. The Dons got hits to put runners on base, hits to advance runners and hits to score them.
"This was our best overall offensive game of the year," Spanish Fork coach Jim "Shoe" Nelson said. "It wasn't necessarily that we had 13 hits. We did a lot of other good things with the bat like scoring guys with fly balls to the outfield and advancing guys with bunts."
Spanish Fork, with only three hitters striking out, just did an overall good job of putting the ball in play, which put pressure on Springville's defense. The Red Devils committed five errors and allowed three Spanish Fork hitters to reach via an error with two of those runners scoring.
"Any time you beat Springville it's a good win because Springville's a quality team, and they're a rival," Nelson said.
The Red Devils, on the other hand, didn't take advantage of their opportunities. Coach Willy Child had to be happy with the eight hits his team totaled off of a very good Spanish Fork pitching staff. However, Springville stranded eight runners, and four of its strikeouts came when runners were in scoring position.
Still, after falling behind 5-0, the Red Devils made a game of it with a three-run fifth. Brandon Miller made it a 5-1 game with an RBI single between short and third, and Ben Doxey cut another run off of Spanish Fork's lead with a towering double off the right field fence. But after a third run scored on a wild pitch, Springville ended the inning with a strikeout and ground out.
The Dons then got some cushion back with two runs in the top of the seventh to go back ahead by four. One scored on back-to-back wild pitches, and the other crossed on Kade Christensen's sacrifice fly.
Overall, it wasn't a typical game on the mound for Spanish Fork's staff. Starter Tyler Hanks was outstanding in holding the Red Devils scoreless with 55 pitches over four innings and giving up only three hits. But reliever Brock Duke allowed three runs on three hits in two innings and closer Adam Duke gave up two hits in a scoreless seventh.
"We had a little glitch in our pitching today, but we're going to be OK," Nelson said.
Thankfully for the Dons, their defense (zero errors) and their bats picked up the slack. Taggart Lunceford had his second straight good outing at the plate for Spanish Fork with three hits and an RBI.
Hanks added a double and a single, and Damon Ward had two doubles.Doxey and Jeff Boyd each had two hits for Springville.