Pahrump Valley High School’s baseball and softball teams are off to flying starts, combining to win nine of 11 games in their season-opening tournaments last weekend.
It was a dramatic change for the boys, as coach Brian Hayes had noted before the season that he did not think the Trojans ever had a winning record in the Route 66 Tournament in Bullhead City, Arizona. But they left little doubt of their intentions this time, outscoring Arizona opponents Holbrook, Page, Chino Valley and Lake Havasu by a combined 40-6.
“Our weekend went very well,” Pahrump Valley coach Brian Hayes said. “We were pretty successful in every game, even that last game. We scored seven in that last inning, and that team we faced Saturday was a legitimate team. It was nice to get out there and play against a good team.”
That last game Saturday was against Southwest, California, when a seven-run fifth inning was erased when the time limit for that game expired, forcing the score to revert to the previous inning and allowing the Eagles to escape with a 5-1 win.
Tyler Floyd went 3-for-3 and Zach Trieb went 2-for-2 for the Trojans, who deliberately had their final two batters of the top of the fifth retired to try to get Southwest to the plate before time expired.
That last game was about the only thing that didn’t work out for the Trojans over the weekend. Earlier Saturday, Cyle Havel, Joey Koenig, Chase McDaniel and Dylan Grossell each had two hits, Havel scored three times and drove in a run and Willis Lucas doubled and drove in two runs in Pahrump Valley’s 12-1 rout of Lake Havasu.
Jake Riding allowed just four hits to earn the win for the Trojans, who led 7-1 after two innings.
On Friday, the Trojans fell behind 4-0 after two innings against Chino Valley, but Zach Trieb went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI in an 11-4 victory. McDaniel and Jalen Denton each doubled for Pahrump Valley.
Earlier that day, Zack Cuellar struck out seven in four innings, allowing only an unearned run in a 6-1 win over Page. Floyd doubled, tripled and drove in a run, while McDaniel went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI.
In Thursday’s tournament opener, the Trojans used only five hits to roll past Holbrook 11-0 as Havel and Ryan Braithwaite combined on a 2-hitter. McDaniel doubled and had four RBIs, Koenig tripled and scored three runs and Grossell doubled and drove in three.
Overall, Hayes was pleased with his team’s performance at an event in which they have struggled over the years.
“We faced a couple of weak teams, which is how our league is, and we handled them like we should have,” Hayes said. “And we faced some decent teams and handled them like we should have. And then we faced a couple of good teams. We beat Havasu pretty soundly, and we should have beat that other team. It was the best weekend we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
Pahrump Valley’s girls had a variety of contests at the Colorado River Invitational in Needles, California, posting two close wins, a comfortable victory, a rout and a forfeit before finally losing Saturday to Silverado in the quarterfinals.
It was a successful start for Cassondra Lauver in her first games as the Trojans’ coach.
“As a team, we hit .534,” she said. “We had 15 extra-base hits. We scored 54 runs in only 19 innings of at-bats.”
After getting a forfeit victory over Lee Williams, Arizona, the Trojans won in unusual fashion when Allyson Rily was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run in an 8-7 win over Coachella Valley, California.
Rily also was the winning pitcher in the game.
On Friday, Rily belted a 2-run home run as the Trojans defeated Durango 8-6. Terrena Martin, Deeanna Egan, McKayla Bartley and Kareena Nelson each doubled for the Trojans, who outhit the Trailblazers 8-4.
The Trojans had started their day with a 9-3 victory over Faith Lutheran, taking advantage of six walks and five errors to defeat the Crusaders despite getting just five hits. Skyler Lauver and Hailey Cuellar each scored a run and drove in a run for Pahrump Valley, with Egan, Rily and Samantha Riding getting the other Trojan hits.
In the third game Friday, Martin and Lauver each had three hits, including a double, in a 17-1 romp against Chino Valley.
Riding and Bartley each homered for the Trojans, who pounded out 17 hits while Rily and Nicky Velazquez held the Cougars to six. A 10-run fourth inning settled the issue for Pahrump Valley.
“We had three players hit home runs in the tournament,” Lauver said, noting Bartley, Riding and Rily all cleared the fence once down in Needles.
Silverado handed the Trojans their first defeat despite three RBIs from Nelson and two runs and two RBIs from Lauver. Nelson, Lauver and Velazquez each had two hits for Pahrump Valley.