weather icon Clear

Pahrump baseball hammered twice in Grizzly Invitational

Before the baseball season began, Pahrump Valley coach Brian Hayes thought one of his biggest problems would be player egos.

After all, he reasoned, many players on his roster were good enough to start on many teams but not on the talented Trojans.

“We’re pretty much two deep everywhere,” he said at the time.

With a chance to prove their coach right, the Trojans are struggling miserably.

With eight players unable to participate until April 2 at Virgin Valley, plenty of others Hayes thought he could compete with have had chances to show what they can do.

The result is a 3-9 record, with Pahrump Valley surrendering at least 10 runs five times.

The latest debacle came Monday during the Grizzly Invitational at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas, where the Trojans suffered two mercy-rule defeats.

First, it was Boulder City, a potential postseason opponent.

The Trojans led 2-0 early before a four-run inning helped by two errors turned the tide.

But the Eagles didn’t start hitting the ball hard until the fifth, when three doubles fueled a five-run inning that pushed the game to the brink of an early conclusion.

An RBI single in the sixth put an end to it, with Boulder City walking off with a 12-2 win.

Despite the score, one of the bright spots for Hayes was the starting pitcher. Freshman Jake Riding, making his first varsity start, pitched into the fifth, trying to eat innings for an undermanned staff.

“He pitched pretty well,” Hayes said. “He probably gave up maybe four or five earned runs. We told him just to throw strikes, and we needed him to pitch as much as he can because we have really no depth in pitching right now.”

The second game of the day figured to be tougher, and it was.

The Grizzlies, a Class 4A team that came into the day with a 6-4 record, scored early and often. Mitchell Otis and Kade Higgins led off the game with back-to-back home runs, Otis’ was of the inside-the-park variety while Higgins cleared the right-field fence, as Spring Valley put up five runs before an out was recorded.

The seven-run first inning essentially decided the issue, but not before some horrific moments for the Trojans. A two-out, three-run Spring Valley in the third featured just one hit. Higgins walked to get on base, then went to second, third and home on wild pitches. The eight-run fourth that ended the 18-3 contest featured three walks, two errors, two more wild pitches and two visits to the mound by Hayes.

Oddly, a bright spot was two-out hitting, as all three runs came on two-out RBI singles by Cole Walker and Bradda Costa in the second and Brendan Ormiston in the fourth.

But Hayes has been left wondering if the players who are out there believe they can get the job done.

“I personally think as a coach that we can compete with the group that we have, but I don’t know if they think that,” Hayes said. “We played a decent game against Tech; we lost in extra innings. Then we played Chaparral and we were up 1-0 going into the fourth and just fell apart. Then we beat Durango in nine innings, and today against Boulder City we played a pretty good game for four innings and then just kind of imploded.

“Spring Valley would have been tough to play even with our full squad. But we’re not entering our squad in a tournament like this to get 15-run ruled in four innings.”

Hayes is most disappointed in his defense. With pitching depth shredded by the absences, he knew his less-experienced hurlers would need to pitch to the defense, and it simply has not worked out.

“Can they focus on baseball?” Hayes mused. “We’re already in this predicament because guys weren’t focused on playing, and instead focused on doing what they wanted to do, and now we’ve got guys on the field and we don’t know if their focus level is where it needs to be.

“Do these guys think they can win? It looks like we’re just kind of treading water until our other guys get back.”

There is good news for the Trojans, and not just that the “other guys” return in a few days. Sunset League play has not yet begun, so none of the defeats counts in the league standings. And it is the league standings that will decide postseason berths. Last season, Pahrump Valley cruised to a 10-0 league record, outscoring opponents 107-24.

The Trojans’ first Sunset League game is April 9 at home against Mojave, and they will have had a full week with their entire roster intact by then.

So despite the poor start, Pahrump Valley has plenty to play for and, potentially, all of their preseason goals are still attainable.

For now, Hayes probably does have ego problems on his roster, just not the kind he anticipated.

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Zuloaga, Dilger team to win Jefferson’s Halloween Haunt

DJ Zuloaga and Lathan Dilger defeated Dennis and Chad Andersen for the second time to win Jefferson’s Halloween Haunt horseshoes tournament Friday, Oct. 30 in Pahrump.

Pahrump Valley Rodeo Club seeking sponsors, raising money

The Pahrump Valley Junior High and High School Rodeo Club will host its annual high school rodeo in conjunction with Pahrump Valley Days in February, and sponsors are needed to help fund the event.

Jared, Debbie Ward hold top two positions in Hobby Stocks

Jared Ward’s third consecutive Hobby Stock victory added a point to the slimmest margin between first and second place of any class during the Nov. 7 racing at Pahrump Valley Speedway.

Inexperience shows as Pahrump Maroon goes 1-3 in Bullhead

The Pahrump Trojans Maroon baseball club was back in Bullhead City, Arizona, last weekend, and on the paper the trip was not a pleasant one. The Trojans ended the first day 0-2, seeded 10th of 12 teams, and managed just one win in four games, a one-run game Sunday morning, as they finished the Double Play 16+ tournament by being outscored 30-13.

Fifteen Nevada horseshoe pitchers head to Utah for Western Open

There are perfectly fine horseshoe pits at Petrack Park in Pahrump. There is a larger set of pits at the Joe Friel Sports Complex in Tonopah. They have fixed up the large set of pits in Beatty.

Ward, Daub win at Speedway, increase season points lead

Jared Ward in Hobby Stocks and Mark Daub in Coupes added to their season points lead by posting victories Oct. 24 at Pahrump Valley Speedway.

Pahrump Gold baseball splits pair in Vegas Valley League

The Pahrump Gold baseball club started the fall season playing in tournaments in Bullhead City, Arizona. The results were mostly good, reaching the final of one tournament and winning another, but there was a sense that nothing much was being accomplished.