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Mishandled bunt sparks rally as Spartans beat Wildcats in Connie Mack tournament

On Monday, the LV Spartans were burned by their inability to handle a bunt against the Summerlin Panthers.

On Tuesday, it was the Spartans that benefited from a mishandled bunt.

The LV Wildcats were unable to field a sixth-inning bunt by Luis Flores, and that defensive miscue sparked a nine-run rally as the Spartans routed the Wildcats 11-4 in an elimination game at the Connie Mack state baseball tournament at the College of Southern Nevada.

“Late in the game, down by a run, runners at first and second with nobody out, we are going to bunt,” Spartans coach Mike Hubel said. “We got lucky. Luis put down a good bunt with two strikes, and that ended up putting pressure on their pitcher and defense. In that situation, the worst-case scenario they throw us out and we have the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at (second) that puts us in a good position.

“€œThat is the way baseball should be played.”€

After Flores reached on the bunt, Camren Stafford drew a walk to tie the score. After the next batter struck out, Alex Marco broke the game open with a two-run double. Richie Coughlin also had a two-run double in the inning, and Jaret Godman and Flores each had a sixth-inning RBI.

Coughlin was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Marco went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Derek Decolati went 2-for-3 with a double for the Spartans.

The tournament continues Wednesday with play in the winners’ bracket. The LV Patriots play the LV Bengals at 5 p.m., and the Summerlin Panthers take on the GV Elite at 8 p.m.

The fourth-seeded Spartans will play the loser of Panthers-Elite game at 10 a.m. Thursday.

After struggling early in Tuesday’s game against Wildcats’€™ starter Austin Strong, Hubel hopes the sixth-inning rally will give his young team some confidence heading into Thursday’s elimination game. The Spartans have seven rising sophomores on their summer roster.

“œIt should, but it’€™s late in the summer, it’s hot and the kids are getting tired, so who knows what we will get out of them,”€ Hubel said. “€œBut we keep trying to be sticklers on them about coming out here and playing hard. We want them to keep giving us everything they’ve got and try to finish strong –€“ that’s all we can ask.”€

Jacob Godman picked up the win in relief of Jaret Godman. Jacob Godman took over in the sixth inning after the Wildcats took a 3-2 lead.

Noah Ponce went 2-for-4 with a double to lead the Wildcats. Strong had two RBIs, and Ben Bowen drove in a run for the Wildcats.

LV Grizzlies 3, LV Bulldogs 1 Bryce Bullock threw a two-hitter to lift the LV Grizzlies past the LV Bulldogs in an elimination game Tuesday.

Bullock walked three and struck out six to earn the victory. The Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the seventh inning.

The second-seeded Grizzlies took control of the game early on Junior Maldonado’s two-out, two-run double in the first inning. The Grizzlies would add another first-inning run on Jake Sellinger’€™s RBI single.

The Grizzlies play the loser of Wednesday’s Patriots-Bengals game at 5 p.m. Thursday in an elimination game.

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