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Spradley Collegians competing for Stan Musial World Series title

  • Stan Musial World Series
    Stan Musial World Series

    Spradley Collegians' Austin Martindale throws a pitch against the New Mexico Otters on Saturday during the Stan Musial World Series on Hobbs Field.[CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]

  • Stan Musial World Series
    Stan Musial World Series

    Spradley Collegians' Isaiah Avila runs home and scores against the New Mexico Otters on Saturday during the Stan Musial World Series on Hobbs Field.[CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]

  • Stan Musial World Series
    Stan Musial World Series

    Spradley Collegians' Lucas Quimby connects for a base hit against the New Mexico Otters on Saturday during the Stan Musial World Series on Hobbs Field.[CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]


BY AUSTIN WHITE | The Pueblo Chieftain | JULY 20, 2019

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After surviving the first game of the Stan Musial World Series at the Runyon Sports Complex 9-5, the Spradley Collegians are yet to play another full-inning game.

Three mercy-rule wins later have placed them into the semifinals today of the American Amateur Baseball Congress national tournament and two wins away from taking the title.

“It’s been great to see these guys compete and play for something at the end of the year,” Collegians coach Tony Pachek said. “It goes a long way to say our pitching has allowed our offense to take off by letting us settle in and get scoring first.”

Pool play ended Saturday for Spradley with a dismantling of the New Mexico Otters 12-1.

The Collegians scored two in the first, four in the second and six in the third to keep the Otters at bay and never really allowed a chance for them to get back in it.

Starting pitcher Austin Martindale had a tough first inning with a few walks and hit batters, but escaped it with no runs allowed and set the momentum for the rest of the game on the mound.

The biggest aid that comes with the mercy-rule victories in a tournament that has six games over three days is the pitching Spradley has been able to save.

Pachek said they still have guys yet to throw, meaning the arms on the mound should be fresh starting today at 10 a.m. on Andenucio Field against Sterling.

And getting through the sweltering heat from three consecutive days of 100 degree weather is an accomplishment as well.

“Stay hydrated, get these guys in the shade and trying to rotate through as many players as I can to keep guys off their feet,” Pachek said on battling the heat. “Keep guys in good rhythm with their at bats, as well as resting guys so they don’t get overheated and burned out.”

Not only have the pitchers been able to eat up innings on the mound, but the entire batting order for the Collegians has produced as well.

They have seen multiple innings throughout the tournament where the lineup batted around and the result was no different against the Otters in the six-run third inning.

Getting that type of production from every part of the order is obviously an important piece to maintain moving forward.

“Our offense, from top to bottom is really playing well, the bottom half of the order has really picked up and that’s kind of what makes an offense take off,” Pachek said. “It makes it easier for everyone.”

The heat did succumb to a large storm Saturday night, leaving Hobbs Field flooded and potentially causing some delays today in the semifinal matchups.

For now, Spradley is scheduled to take on Sterling in one semifinal, while fellow undefeated pool play opponents New Mexico Frackers take on the Cutthroats at 10:30 a.m. on Hobbs Field.

The winner of the two will play for the world series title at 1 p.m. on Hobbs.

“When you get to play for a world series, it’s always something special,” Pachek said. “They all have their heads screwed on straight so hopefully we do something special (today) for Pueblo.”

Chieftain sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at awhite@chieftain.com or on Twitter @ajwrules44.