Garza strikes out 11 in complete-game win

Alliance’s Kirk Sanders turns a double play after forcing out Gering’s Jack Franklin at second base during Tuesday night’s game in Gering. The Spartans earned a 6-0 win to improve to 6-3 on the season. 

Alliance’s J.J. Garza struck out 11 and tossed a complete-game 3-hitter as the Alliance Spartans earned a 6-0 win over Gering Platte Valley Companies Tuesday night at Oregon Trail Park.

Alliance coach Carlos Palomo said the defense and pitching was stellar on the night.

“The one thing that has been our strength this year is our pitchers,” Palomo said. “Our pitchers have got ahead in counts and we really minimized our walks and giving up free bases. Our defense has been good behind us. We weren’t overpowering with the bats, but we had some timely hitting and were able to get six runs in.”

Garza’s pitching was definitely key in the game. Garza faced just 26 Gering hitters with 95 pitches thrown. Garza walked just one with the 11 strikeouts.

What Alliance did with the defense is not allow any big Gering rallies.

Alliance, on the other hand, got some clutch hits and strung together a number of hits and at bats to plate six runs throughout the game.

“One of the things I tell our kids is to have competitive at bats and the bottom of the lineup really stepped up,” Palomo said. “I think one through nine there is not a weak spot and every kid can have an impact on this team. It showed in the bottom of the lineup today.”

Gering coach Rick KInnaman said the defense and pitching was enough to keep the PVC seniors in the game. It was the at bats that weren’t Gering’s strong suit on the night.

“Our defense and pitching was good enough to win any game, but our approach at the plate was pretty young,” Kinnaman said. “We didn’t have a very mature approach at the plate.”

Gering’s three hits came from the bats of Justin Scott, Jack Franklin, and Adreick Conn. Only two of 10 Gering batters didn’t strike out on the day – Franklin and Keon Booker.

Kinnaman said they just need to put the game out of their mind quick because they travel to face Bridgeport Wednesday night.

“The whole season is like that especially in June where it is one after another,” he said. “There is no time to feel sorry for yourself and wonder what you can do. You just have to pack it up and go on to the next pitch.”

Alliance pounded out nine hits in the game. Peyton Pinedo had the only extra base hit with a double. Pinedo also had two RBIs. Collin Schrawyer and Trevor DuBray each had two singles to lead the Spartans’ charge. DuBray also had two RBIs, while Schrawyer scored three runs.

Gering had a prime scoring opportunity in the first when Schanaman reached on a dropped third strike followed by a single by Scott. With runners at the corner, the Alliance team avoided the early scores.

Alliance came back with two runs each in the second and third. The two runs in the second came with two outs. Ezra Ray earned a walk followed by a Devin Garcia single. Pinedo then delivered a 2-run double for the 2-0 lead.

The third inning saw Schrawyer lead off with a single. Garza was then hit by a pitch and Schrawyer came around to score on an error. Alliance added another run on a Trevor DuBray sacrifice fly for the 4-0 lead.

The Spartans added a single insurance run in the fifth and seventh inning. The run in the fifth came with two outs as Caesen Clarke singled in Schrawyer. The single run in the seventh came with two outs as DuBray singled in Schrawyer for the 6-0 win.

Alliance 022 010 1 – 6 9 1

Gering PVC 000 000 0 – 0 3 1

WP – JJ Garza

LP – Riley Schanaman.

2B – Alliance (Peyton Pinedo).

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