87°F
weather icon Clear

Pahrump Junior Little Leaguers come up short in Nevada tournament

Updated August 2, 2018 - 1:28 pm

After three wild games that ended in a District 4 championship, it should come as no surprise that there were more twists and turns awaiting the P-Town Junior Little League All-Stars at the state tournament in Carson City.

But this time, there wasn’t quite enough magic left in the bats.

P-Town followed up an 8-7 loss to Boulder City in the tournament opener Thursday with a 12-11 defeat against Walker River of Yerington on Friday to be the first team eliminated from the double-elimination event.

“What kills me the most about what we just experienced is we were definitely better, talent-wise, than both teams that we played,” P-Town manager Drew Middleton said. “We just couldn’t get out of our own way.”

Although both games were one-run losses, they were very different affairs. In the opener, Boulder City jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Pahrump scored three in the fourth and four in the sixth to take a 7-6 lead in the seventh, then gave up two to fall behind.

Typically, P-Town didn’t go down easily. Even after the potential tying run was thrown out at home in the bottom of the seventh, Pahrump pushed another potential tying run to third base before Boulder City finally extinguished the rally.

“Out of the eight runs, two were earned, and the only two earned runs were in the fourth on a double,” Middleton explained. “Outside of that, it was just errors and miscommunication. Boulder City tried to run into three or four different outs, and we just couldn’t execute.”

P-Town wasted a monster game from first baseman Louis Sposato, who went 4-for-4 with three doubles, two RBIs, two runs and three stolen bases.

Friday night’s loss was even more frustrating. This time, it was P-Town taking a big lead, riding a 10-2 advantage into the fifth inning against Walker River.

“Leo Finkler started and cruised through the first four innings, got out of a couple of jams with just the two runs,” Middleton said. “Then his pitch count got up and he got a little bit wild.”

It didn’t get any better after Finkler exited, and Walker River exploded for nine runs in the inning. This time, Middleton said, it was not P-Town mistakes that did the damage.

“We weren’t shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “In that game they were just hitting the baseball where we weren’t. They had some guys who can hit, and there are games where hitting is contagious. They were putting the bat on the ball and making good contact.”

But once again, the Pahrump players battled back and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. But, just like the night before, they gave it back in the seventh, with the go-ahead run scoring on an error.

P-Town rallied again, putting the potential tying run on third and the potential winning run on second, but the inning ended on the 15th strikeout of the night, something that had plagued P-Town during most of the district tournament.

Jay Amaya was the hitting star of the second game, hitting three singles and a double, scoring four times, stealing five bases and driving in three runs. He also played third base, center field, left field and shortstop during the contest. James Metscher went 2-for-2 with a walk, scored twice and drove in two runs. P-Town stole 14 bases in the game.

“Losing to Boulder City, I knew that would be a battle,” Middleton said. “I thought we matched them talent for talent. I could live with it because it was a hard-fought game. But to be up 10-2 and losing it the way we did, that was tough.”

It made for a long ride back from Carson City, but Middleton took home a season’s worth of memories in just a couple of tournaments.

“The entire experience was phenomenal,” he said. “What we went though to get to this point, and even at states, we battled. That’s why we were where we were. We battle. Even when we gave up the lead to Walker River, we battled. That’s what made this team so special.

“To realize that we deserved to be there and show that we competed — and I honestly thought we were better than both teams — they proved they belong at this level. And I think that’s going to help in the future. It’s definitely a confidence-booster. It’s a huge deal to play in the state tournament as middle schoolers, because now when they get there in high school the shock of it will be out of the way.”

Middleton gave credit to the parents, noting that every player had at least one parent make the trip to Carson City for the tournament. It was just another part of what made this all-star team special.

“I love these kids,” he said. “The way they showed up to practice every day. They’re resilient. They never gave up. It’s one of the best groups I’ve ever been around. They were a lot of fun to coach.

“My team never made things boring. We found ways to make things exciting. We never made it easy, but we were very entertaining to watch.”

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Softball: Pahrump Valley celebrates Senior Day with rout

They say patience is a virtue. Patience is especially virtuous when you’re a softball player facing a pitcher who couldn’t find the plate with a map, a compass and a team of bloodhounds.

Baseball: Riding sharp, offense awakens for Pahrump Valley

A week ago, Pahrump Valley senior Jake Riding didn’t give up a run until the seventh inning and lost. On Wednesday, two of the first three batters scored off of Riding, so naturally he and the Trojans won by the mercy rule.

Track: Pahrump Valley runs at Palo Verde; Beatty at Del Sol

Daniel Edghill cleared 6 feet to win the boys high jump and Aspen McCormack cleared 4-8 to win the girls high jump for the Pahrump Valley High School track and field team Saturday in a meet at Palo Verde High School.

Pahrump Valley baseball no-hit by Boulder City’s Connell

Boulder City senior Troy Connell pitched 6 innings of no-hit ball Thursday against Pahrump Valley, but Trojans senior Jake Riding matched him zero for zero on the scoreboard.

Softball: Bats come alive as Pahrump Valley tops Moapa

The offense is coming together for the Pahrump Valley High School softball team, if the bullets coming off of the Trojans’ bats Tuesday against Moapa Valley are any indication.

Baseball: Cuellar, McDaniel cap Pahrump Valley rally

It was the kind of situation young kids imagine when they first pick up a bat: final inning, team trailing, runners on base, two outs and a full count.

Sports Roundup: PVTBC, Pahrump Valley Little League

Mary Neese, Tom Dragna and Dale Bystedt were the top money winners Saturday at the Pahrump Valley Tournament Bowling Club’s Certified Snakebite Singles Tournament at the Pahrump Nugget.

Pahrump Valley track athletes find motivation within

Even more than most high school sports, track and field is all about the postseason. There are no dual meets to win, no league titles to play for and — aside from the constant goal of trying to improve — nothing other than qualifying for the postseason truly matters.