SPRING HILL — Call it a trap game or a letdown game. Either of these terms arguably could apply to Springstead's contest Tuesday night against Hernando.
What isn't debatable is that the Leopards' 10-8 victory over the Eagles represented Springstead's first loss of the season, and it came only one night after the Eagles had beaten East Ridge, one of the most potent programs in the state.
"After such a long, hard game (Monday) night, it is a typical trap game," Springstead coach Frank Vitale said.
The way the game started, the evidence seemed to back up Vitale. Springstead (11-1) went down in order for the first three innings to Hernando starter Austin Rollins.
The fourth inning was a different story. Starting with leadoff hitter James Wright, eight consecutive batters reached base. Julian Perez cleared the bases with a three-run double, and Brandon Brosher hit a three-run home run, putting Springstead up 8-4.
Hernando (8-6) answered in the top of the sixth with gritty offense and sloppy defense from Springstead. After loading the bases with no outs thanks to two walks and a hit batter, three consecutive singles allowed the Leopards to score five times. Another run scored thanks to a stray throw from Eagles catcher Matt Adams into leftfield, putting Hernando up for good.
While Vitale believed it was a trap game, Hernando coach Tim Sims wanted to hear nothing of it.
"It's not a letdown game when Hernando and Springstead play," Sims said. "It didn't seem like a letdown game when Brosher jogged around the bases (after his home run)."
Springstead is eager to get back on track now that this first loss is behind it.
"I just told them I wasn't disappointed with the fact that they lost," Vitale said. "We have to turn our focus to the next game."