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Pahrump Trojans fall short in quest for state title

The Pahrump Valley Trojans baseball team was defeated by the Boulder City Eagles in the knockout game on Thursday afternoon at Moapa Valley High School.

This was the Trojans’ second and final loss of the regional tournament. Pahrump Valley just wasn’t able to figure out Boulder City this season.

The Eagles swept the Trojans in all three games, with Thursday’s contest being the lowest score of the season with a 4-2 final score.

This is the first time since the 2016 season that Pahrump Valley didn’t make it at least to the regional semifinals game.

Despite not going far in the playoffs, the Trojans recorded their second best regular season in the last 10 years.

Their 68 percent winning percentage is second only to the 2019 season when the Trojans won 72 percent of their games. This season, Pahrump Valley finished with a record of 21-10 overall and an 8-2 league record.

Junior Kyle McDaniel led the Trojans with a .548 batting average this season amongst all everyday players. He was also second on the team with a .618 on-base percentage.

McDaniel had 13 doubles, four triples and four home runs with 41 runs batted in with his 51 hits during the season. His four home runs were tied for the team-high with senior Dallton Norland.

The seniors on the team – Norland, Colby Tillery, Zack Cuellar and Henry Amaya – combined for a .359 batting average with 115 hits and 93 RBIs.

The Trojans will be returning five of their starters next season, as well as four pitchers in their starting rotation.

Among those returning pitchers is Fidel Betancourt who went 5-0 this season in eight appearances. He finished the season with a 3.28 earned run average.

Betancourt pitched 32 innings, the highest of all Trojan pitchers, giving up 23 runs on 32 hits while striking out 35 batters.

McDaniel, who led the team in batting, also was one of the top pitchers for Pahrump Valley this season. He struck out a team-high 52 batters and allowed 28 hits in his 31.2 innings of work, finishing with a 1.77 ERA.

I’m still under the belief that had the Trojans been able to defeat the Virgin Valley Bulldogs in the second round of the tournament, they would have made it to the regional championship game and secured a spot in the state tournament.

Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out that way for Pahrump Valley.

The Trojans’ run at state will have to wait until next season. They’ll have to replace some of the senior leadership that will be leaving the team after this season, but they should be in good hands with the juniors that stepped up on this year’s team.

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