The memory of a 6-4 loss to Del Sol on April 3 in Las Vegas was fresh in the minds of Pahrump Valley High School baseball players when they took the field Friday for a rematch against the Dragons at Rod Poteete Memorial Field.
And it should have been, as the Trojans’ only league loss of the season was one of their most disappointing efforts. Despite 12 hits, 4 walks and a hit batter, they managed only 4 runs, made 6 errors and had 4 runners thrown out on the bases.
There was no way that was going to happen again.
Fueled by a bases-loaded triple from senior Dylan Grossell, Pahrump Valley scored six times in the first inning, then rode sophomore Jalen Denton’s arm to a 12-0 win in five innings.
“They were down a few guys, but we handled them the way we expected to handle them the first time,” Pahrump Valley coach Brian Hayes said of the Dragons. “The difference this time was we had the timely hitting, and we didn’t have any of those defensive lapses that kind of create a big inning.”
Tyler Floyd singled, doubled, tripled, drove in 2 runs and scored twice batting right behind Grossell, while at the top of the lineup, Joey Koenig, Denton and Chase McDaniel combined for 6 hits, 5 runs and 3 RBIs.
“We had some good approaches,” Hayes said. “They walked a few guys, and we got the big hits when we needed to.”
Things went equally well while the Trojans were in the field. Not only did they play error-free baseball, but they twice nailed Del Sol runners who got careless on the bases. And Denton recovered from a slow start to spin a 1-hit shutout with 6 strikeouts.
“He had a little trouble in the first inning locating,” Hayes said. “He walked the first two in the first inning. I just went out on the mound and said if we’re going to yank you you’re going to be the one coming off the field,” meaning Denton wouldn’t just shift to another position and send another player to the bench. “The kid wants to hit, he’s one of our best hitters, and so that kind of got him on track a little bit.”
Denton only walked two the rest of the way; one was immediately erased on a force and the other was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a single.
“He doesn’t give up much hard contact,” Hayes said of Denton. “Most of his hits are bleeders, but he just has trouble locating sometimes. It was a big outing. because if we’re going to go deep in the playoffs we’re going to need him to give us a quality outing, and he did that today.”
The victory gave the Trojans a split of the season series with the Dragons and gave them a 2-game lead over both Del Sol and Mojave in the Sunset League heading into the final week of the season. The Trojans played the Rattlers on Tuesday in North Las Vegas.
Pahrump Valley 2, SLAM Academy 1: On Monday, Denton singled home the tying run and scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Trojans (21-8) by the Bulls.
Koenig reached on an error and scored on Denton’s single. Denton came home on another error for Pahrump Valley, which had just three hits.
Pahrump Valley continued steamrolling through the Sunset League as Kareena Nelson tossed a 3-inning no hitter, striking out eight in an 18-0 rout of Del Sol on Friday.
Skyler Lauver went 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs, and Terrena Martin was 2-for-2 with a triple and an RBI for Pahrump Valley. Nelson also tripled and drove in a run. Dee Dee Egan went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI for the Trojans, who racked up 11 hits in two innings.
The Trojans improved to 20-9 overall and 8-0 in the Sunset League. They played second-place Mojave (9-5, 7-1 Sunset) on Tuesday, finish up league play Thursday at home against Western (4-14, 2-6), then head to Las Vegas to wrap up the regular season Friday against Bishop Gorman (13-18).
Three Pahrump Valley golfers broke 90 and none of them shot more than 100 last Wednesday as the Trojans easily won another Sunset League match, this time at Aliante Golf Club in North Las Vegas.
Trevyn Wombaker and Koby Lindberg each shot 13-over-par 85 to pace the Trojans, who finished with a team total of 350, 62 over par. Right behind was Kasey Dilger at 87. All three of them were 6-over on the front nine.
Ian Kingsley’s 93 was the fourth score to count for the Trojans. He and Lindberg had the Trojans’ only birdies on the day, with Lindberg getting his on the par-4 No. 9 and Kingsley carding a 3 on the par-4 16th.
Del Sol was the only other team to count in the team scores, with the Dragons finishing at 433. Western’s Jared Smith again was the individual winner, firing a 4-over 76. Pahrump Valley golfers recorded six of the top 10 scores, with Caleb Sproul shooting 96 and Kasen Moore finishing at 98.
The Trojans will compete in the Class 3A Southern Region Championships, with the first round May 6 at Boulder City Golf Course and the second round May 7 at Boulder Creek Golf Club, both in Boulder City.