Courtesy photo
Keith Neville throws out the first pitch to kick off the Serpent El Capitan Baseball and Softball Classic.

Submitted by coach Darren Hamrey

After a 25 years absence, the Serpent El Capitan Baseball and Softball Classic Tournament is back. In their opening tournament of the year, the Serpents hosted a variety of teams from both Nevada and California, from all four divisions. It was a weekend of great fun and great baseball. Our very own Keith Neville threw out the first pitch and the season was underway.

As it would work out, the boys in black and gold would face the boys in black and green in the opening game of the tournament. It was Junior Tony Dominguez who would stare down the 4A Hug Hawks in the match up and pull away with a win as the Serpents edged out the Hawks 9-7. Dominguez gave up five hits, allowing no earned runs, and striking out seven, but an early season defense allowed seven runs across the plate. Dominguez helped himself on offense, scoring two runs and swiping two bags.

Junior cleanup hitter, David Ditmer, smashed a double in the first inning, and sophomore Seth Bozzi smacked two hits on the day. Junior second baseman Griffen Inman roped a hit and drove in the go ahead run for the Serpents. Ethan Nelms and Inman both had two RBIs in the game.

Game two saw sophomore Treven Wachsmuth on the bump for the Serps. Wachsmuth faced a very strong 2A team in the North Tahoe Lakers. The Serpents faced the Lakers’ ace in Graham Payne. Payne, a hard-throwing right-hander shut down the Serpents’ offensive attack, allowing no hits through four innings of play. Wachsmuth struck out five in a losing effort. Griffen Inman had another good showing, as he broke up Payne’s perfect game in the third inning with a bobbled shot to second base. Ditmer and Dees came in relief on the hill.

After a night’s sleep, Wachsmuth was back on the bump the next day ready to hurl at Lone Pine. He gave up only one hit and struck out four while giving up zero earned runs, but shaky defense left 9 runs on the board for the Eagles when Wachsmuth exited the game. Bozzi and Ditmer came in relief but were unable to quiet the Lone Pine bats.

Dominguez and Wachsmuth both tallied one hit and a stolen base each. Ditmer drove in two runs on one hit, and Phillip Dees roped a base hit to score two late in the game. The Serpents took a hard loss, 16-4.

The final game of the tournament for the Serpents went much better, taking a 4-3 loss to 2A Silver Stage in a strong defensive showing. The home team’s defense was perfect behind Dominguez for his second start of the tourney. Dominguez struck out five and gave up only one hit in a losing effort, but it was ultimately walks and hit batsmen that allowed the Nighthawks to stay in the win column.

Dominguez was pulled in the 3rd inning due to pitch count, which left the door open for hard-throwing lefty Kaden Sunderland to try his hand at the Silver Stage lineup. Sunderland faced six hitters and struck out four, giving up no hits and no runs. Nelms and Dominguez scattered a hit apiece. Nelms added another RBI while Dominguez roped a double and stole three bases. The Serpents ended the tournament with a 1-3 record.

North Tahoe was crowned the tournament champions. Koby Mattson of North Tahoe took home the Homerun Derby honors, and Tony Dominguez was selected to the All-Tournament Team for the Serpents.