It was less than six weeks ago that the Pahrump Valley baseball team looked completely in over its head.
Playing in the Grizzly Invitational at Spring Valley High School with a roster depleted by eight suspensions, the Trojans got smacked around twice, losing 12-2 to Boulder City and 18-3 to Spring Valley in games ended by the mercy rule.
That seems like a very long time ago, because the Trojans, the No. 1 seed in the Sunset League, are riding an eight-game winning streak into the Class 3A Southern Region tournament.
“We’re excited,” Pahrump Valley coach Brian Hayes said. “We’ve been playing some pretty good baseball, and we specifically scheduled some 4A teams, and we beat a couple of them on their senior days.”
The Trojans finished Sunset League play at 9-1 and finished the regular season at 16-13-1. Depth has been the key, as Hayes said the team is getting contributions from throughout the lineup.
“We’re pretty good one through nine right now,” he said. “If you looked at our team batting average a couple of weeks ago we were at .220 and now we’re at .300. In fact, everybody is around .300 except for Joey Koenig, and he gets on base all the time anyway.”
The pitching staff is showing depth as well, the kind needed for a deep postseason run. Garrett Lucas is the acknowledged ace of the staff, but in the final three games of the regular season Jalen Denton, Dylan Grossell and Bradda Costa took turns posting victories. “I think probably one of the blessings of the suspensions is that we got some guys some extra work,” Hayes said. “Jalen’s got two varsity starts under his belt now, and he’s pitched pretty well. Dylan Grossell has six or seven starts under his belt. We’ve got Garrett and Bradda, who have been throwing well, and (Cyle) Havel has been stepping up as our closer … and Joey and Ian (MacRae) are helping us in relief.”
“Eveybody’s got some good experience coming in, and not just experience but some success. And if we advance deep in the playoffs, we’re going to need someone else to step up.”
There will be no surprises in the postseason, as the Trojans have played everybody in the Sunrise League during the regular season.
“We’ve seen everybody, including Boulder twice because we played them in the (Spring Valley) tournament,” Hayes said. “The only one that’s really seen our full squad is Virgin Valley, and that was our first game back (with a full roster) so we were a little rusty.”
Pahrump Valley beat Virgin Valley in that game 4-1, and put together a wild rally to tie Boulder City 11-11 in the second meeting between the teams.
The Trojans will continue postseason play against either Western or Virgin Valley at 3:30 p.m. today in Pahrump.
Beatty comes up short
Despite a season full of struggles, the Beatty baseball team found itself a few innings away from qualifying for the Class 1A Southern Region playoffs.
Needing a sweep of a May 3 doubleheader against Tonopah, the Hornets took a 6-2 lead in the opener and held on for an 8-5 win. Senior Armando Gonzalez struck out nine and walked none to earn the win, while Beatty took advantage of 10 walks. Gonzalez and Daniel Castillo had two hits apiece, while they and Fabian Perez each scored two runs.
In the second game, the Hornets again took an early lead, going up 5-4 after two and 8-7 after four. But a five-run fifth turned around the game for the Muckers, who put it away with eight runs in the seventh for a 20-9 win. Gonzalez was the hitting star for Beatty, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
The Hornets wrapped up their season 5-11 overall and 2-4 in 1A Central play. Spring Mountain (14-4, 5-1) and Tonopah (7-13, 3-3) advanced to the region tournament in Alamo along with Indian Springs and Pahranagat Valley from 1A South.
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter:@pvtimes