It was a long trip for the Spartans this weekend as they made their way to Omaha to gain experience taking on teams on the east side of the state.
The Spartans debuted Friday with a close game against Omaha Northwest, claiming a narrow 5-4 victory over Northwest. On Saturday, Alliance had a banner game to start the day, taking a 9-2 victory over Bryan.
Next, they took on Bennington, where they saw their first loss in the tournament, falling to Bennington with a final score of 2-0.
Finally, Alliance faced off against Omaha South on Sunday, where they were dealt their final defeat in the tournament with a final score of 2-1.
Head Coach Carlos Palomo said he saw strength from the Spartans as they progressed through the tournament. He believes that taking the battle to tougher teams will help to hone the Spartans’ skills as they make their way through the season.
“They played quality baseball, and I’m always looking to play better competition,” said Palomo. “Going into the season, I wanted to see a tougher schedule. I thought this was a very, very good experience. We didn’t get quite as many games in as I would’ve liked. A realistic goal that I had, and the team understood, was to come out of here 2-2 at least. I’m very proud of the way the boys competed.”
Palomo was impressed with his pitchers’ abilities, as they took on the first game of the tournament.
“We really minimized the walks and gave our defense a chance to back us up,” Palomo said. “That’s what really kept us in the ballgames.”
Palomo noted that this was not the first time the Spartans have seen Bennington on the field, noting they met in competition at the state tournament in 2018.
“It was good to see them again,” said Palomo. “That was an incredible game. It was a pitching dual. Both pitchers were keeping each other off balance and really shutting us out. (Peyton) Pinedo pitched well though. He kept us in it. We had an error in the sixth inning and they were able to take the lead, and they ended up scoring another run in the seventh.”
In the coming weeks during practice, Palomo said the Spartans will continue to work on developing their fundamentals.
“Our fundamentals are one of our biggest strengths,” said Palomo. “We played at a high level out east, and there’s no excuse for us to play at that level every single game. I hope we can take that same mentality into every game we play the rest of the season.”