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Pahrump Valley baseball falls to Boulder City

Most contests between Pahrump Valley and Boulder City feature an increased level of intensity, but Monday’s baseball game between the two old rivals didn’t have much of it.

There was little to separate the teams for six innings, but the visitors rode three runs in the top of the first to a 6-3 win over the Trojans at Rod Poteete Memorial Field.

While lamenting what he said was his team’s lack of focus, Pahrump Valley coach Brian Hayes also welcomed the early-season opportunity to see some of his arms in action. Dylan Grossell pitched into the fourth inning, then Joey Koenig took over until Chase McDaniel pitched a clean seventh.

“Our pitchers threw strikes,” said Hayes, as only two Eagles walked. “We didn’t really have our hit-or-miss guys, we had guys who are going to throw to contact. We didn’t get a look at Chase this weekend in the tournament. He threw that last inning and threw fairly well. And Joey is going to be one of our top relievers and a spot starter, and he threw the ball pretty well.”

Sophomore Jalen Denton was the offensive star for the Trojans, leading off the game by depositing a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right to cut the Boulder City lead to 3-1. Denton then led off the third with a double to right and eventually scored on a double steal as senior Tyler Floyd stole second. Denton, McDaniel and Trieb each had two hits for the Trojans, who had five in the first three innings against Eagles starter Brian Miller.

But when Boulder City brought in sophomore Joey Giunta, it was a different story. After getting five hits — two for extra bases — and two runs in three innings off of Miller, the Trojans managed just two hits and an unearned run in four innings against Giunta.

“They brought their Giunta kid, he’s probably their top pitcher, they brought him from the fourth inning on,” Hayes said. “We handled him pretty well, hit the ball pretty hard, but we kept hitting it right at people.”

The Trojans tried to rally in the sixth as McDaniel was hit by a pitch, Willie Lucas reached on an error and Trieb singled hard to left to load the bases. Giunta plunked Grossell to force in a run, but with the bases loaded and nobody out, Giunta induced an infield fly and then struck out consecutive batters to end the threat.

Hayes called the game “a productive loss.”

“We have to give Chase some innings, we have to give Dylan some innings,” he said. “We were talking about that as coaches. You want to beat Boulder City, but you have to look at your season in the long run.”

A last-minute, unplanned lineup shuffle and sitting around doing nothing because they took early infield and outfield practice to accommodate the Eagles’ 3 p.m. arrival didn’t help.

“I keep telling the kids that’s our biggest thing this year: to be focused,” Hayes said. “We have the talent. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of them understanding they need to focus on the game. It’s spring break, but we can’t use that as an excuse.”

Hayes planned to give his team a couple of days off during the week, as the Trojans (4-2) don’t play again until Monday at Chaparral. Their next game in Pahrump will be Wednesday against Virgin Valley.

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