Trojans dominate tourney: Long-ball helps Trojans win big

Baseball players are the most superstitious of all the athletes and when the luck runs out, it gets ugly. For Brian Hayes and the Trojans baseball season, the mojo had been running dry until the last weekend and all of a sudden the team was knee-deep in luck.

Trojans baseball traveled to Mesquite for a weekend tourney hosted by Virgin Valley High School.

The tournament allowed the Trojans to take revenge on an old rival, the Moapa Valley Pirates, a team that ended the Trojans’ post season last year. The Trojans beat the Pirates in the first game of the tourney 6-2 and then beat Juab 11-3 (from Utah), Lincoln County 10-8 and then Pahrump met Moapa in the championship game taking the game 14-1.

The team won its first tournament in a long time. No one can remember when the Trojans won their last tourney. Rod Poteete said his 1982 team won the same tourney, but he is sure a Trojans team has won a tourney since.

Trojans Coach Brian Hayes was more than pleased with going undefeated.

“This weekend was a big bounce-back for us. We played solid defense, our pitchers did a good job of throwing strikes, and our hitting came alive. Chad Uyeno, Drew Middleton, Eduardo Gonzalez, and Devin Rily all had solid outings, each limiting their walks to 3 or less per game. Josh Mortensen and Uyeno both asked to come into relief in the Lincoln County game, which was a big boost to our team’s confidence. We now feel as though we have a solid relief staff,” he said.

The weekend saw the team improve drastically in hitting and pitching. The team batting average went from .308 to .373 and the team ERA went down from a 6.65 to 4.88.

The hitting was not just limited to one or two players, which was key for the Trojans.

“A few of our other hitters came alive, including Carlos Rivera, Richard Greene, Tyler Greene, and Cody Kovatch,” Hayes said.

A good example of the hitting was Rivera. He came on the scene last year as a sophomore and took over the catching for the Trojans. His bat exploded for the first time this year. Rivera is hitting .409 on the year and at the tourney he hit .461, had 6 hits and 2 RBIs.

In addition to the hits, the Trojans benefited from the long ball too. Uyeno hit two home runs out of the park against Juab and Lincoln County.

“Both home runs I hit on the first pitch,” said Uyeno.

Hayes also said the defense was solid. The team averaged 2.75 errors per game during the tourney, which is down from the last tourney at 3.2 per game. The Trojans had just one bad defensive game the whole weekend and that was against Lincoln County where they had 5, but still won by two points.

The Trojans play two final preseason games this week. On Wednesday, the Trojans travel to Legacy in Las Vegas and then are home on Friday against Del Sol.

Hayes said he will use the final games “to figure out our rotation for league games during next week.”

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