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Trojans ‘homer’ 3 times in win against Mustangs

Major League Baseball may be getting off to a late start, but high school baseball in Nevada is starting right on time.

The Pahrump Valley Trojans began their season on Monday night with a 10-5 win on the road against the Needles High School Mustangs in a non-league game.

“It feels great,” Pahrump Valley baseball head coach Roy Uyeno said of the team starting the season with a win. “These boys have been waiting since October to play a real game. It was good for the boys, it’s all for them.”

This was the first meeting between these two teams since the Trojans defeated the Mustangs 4-1 in an early season tournament during the 2009-10 season.

Pahrump Valley is looking to improve on their 13-9 season from last year, which they finished in second place of the 3A Desert league and were runners-up to Boulder City for the 3A southern regional championship.

Senior Zack Cuellar got the start on the mound for the Trojans. He pitched a scoreless game after two innings.

With Pahrump Valley up 2-0 thanks to a third inning 2-run single by third baseman Dustin Lopez, Cuellar went back on the mound for the bottom half of the third inning.

The third inning wasn’t friendly to Cuellar.

During that inning, he allowed four runs on three hits and had a throwing error trying to pick off a runner who was on first base.

During the bottom of the third inning, there was a questionable call made while Needles was batting that went in favor of the Trojans.

With the bases loaded, a Mustang player hit a long fly ball over the left field fence.

Due to the only umpire for the game being behind home plate, he wasn’t able to see the ball too well. After originally calling the ball foul, it seemed like he changed his mind and called it a home run in favor of Needles.

When coach Uyeno called the ump over to discuss the call, the ump changed the ruling back to a foul ball, saving the Trojans from further disaster.

Despite giving up the lead, Cuellar didn’t let it get to him. After getting out of the third inning, he came up to bat in the top of the fourth inning.

With a runner on first base, Cuellar sent a moonshot over the right field fence for his first home run of the season, tying the game 4-4.

Cueller would finish the game batting 3-for-4 with two singles and the homer.

“One thing about Zack, he’s an older player,” coach Uyeno said of Cueller. “If he does bad, he shakes it off. They always get mad at themselves, but we teach them to let it go, breathe, and flush it down the toilet.”

The Trojans would add two more runs in the top of the fourth inning and wouldn’t look back.

Junior Scott Hirschi would come in during the bottom of the fourth inning to replace Cuellar as the pitcher.

Hirschi started off rough – walking three of his first four batters – but settled down before allowing any runs. He pitched the last four innings of the game, giving up just one run while striking out four batters.

In the top of the fifth inning, senior first baseman Dallton Norland came up to bat with a runner on first base. Much like Cuellar’s home run, Norland sent a moonshot over the wall, this time to the left side of the field.

The Trojans would tack on two more runs, one in the sixth inning and one in the seventh inning, to stretch their lead to 10-4.

Their sixth-inning run was an inside-the-park home run by junior shortstop Kyle McDaniel. He finished the day going 2-for-3 with the homer and a double.

The Mustangs added one more run in the bottom of the seventh before ultimately being defeated by Pahrump Valley.

The Trojans’ next game will be on Wednesday, March 16, when they host the Moapa Valley Pirates. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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