Spartans Go 3-0 at State after Match Against Springfield
Advance to Semi-Finals
By SHAUN FRIEDRICHSEN
The Alliance Spartans are a juggernaut in the Class B State Tournament, rolling over three teams and standing as the only team at the tournament that remained undefeated as of Monday night.
Starting off the tournament, the Spartans squared off against Seward on Saturday, claiming a victory with a final score of 4-1.
Next, the Spartans took on Hickman on Sunday. They walked away with a narrow victory by posting one run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
On Monday night, Alliance faced off against Springfield. Springfield took an early lead in the first inning, posting three runs. The Spartans battled, however, taking the lead in the fourth inning by posting four runs. They followed the rally with another run in the bottom in the fifth.
Springfield responded by posting three runs at the top of the sixth inning. The Spartans regained the lead in the sixth by posting another five runs, bringing the score to 10-6. Springfield was able to post two more runs at the top of the seventh, but it was not enough to halt Alliance’s progress as they claimed another victory at the state tournament.
Head Coach Carlos Palomo explained that the experience at state so far has been surreal. He said he has been pleased by the team’s unwillingness to give up.
“It’s unbelievable, what it took to get to this point,” said Palomo. “These men have bought in since I’ve taken over. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve continued to challenge them, and they made their best effort. They could have plummeted, and imploded after that first inning, but they never gave up. They made adjustments pitching-wise, and found ways to score.”
JJ Garza led the pitching offensive, throwing a total of 102 pitches before Peyton Pinedo took the mound. He said he is excited about the progress the team has made so far, and hopes that the momentum will continue to grow throughout the remaining games.
“Each game we’ve played has been crazy,” said Garza. “It’s all about momentum and believing in each other: brotherhood, family. It’s what we believe in. I think that’s what’s helping us out. Our Alliance community has had a huge impact. We just have to keep doing us. We came here to do business. We knew we didn’t want to go out the same way as last year.”
Palomo said taking on teams like Hickman and Springfield has been advantageous for the Spartans, as they hone their skills.
“Playing these past few teams has shown that we can compete with the best,” Palomo said. “Our pitchers have competed their tails off, and defense has picked each other up. We continue to stay in the moment and do what we do best.”
Palomo said the experience of making it this far at the state tournament, with the prospect of going further has been priceless.
“These kids have worked their tail off in the off season,” said Palomo. “There’s a lot of versatile athletes on this team right now. A lot of kids can play multiple positions, and I think that helps. Having the kids understand that they’re part of something bigger than themselves is fun to watch. We just have to stay in the moment and keep competing.”
On Tuesday, the Spartans were set to take on Bennington. As of press time, the scores of the game were not available.