By Darren Hamrey
The Mineral County High baseball team had been waiting since their last loss, 15 games ago, to redeem themselves against Smith Valley. The Bulldogs issued the Serpents an 18-12 loss in their 5th game of the season, which sparked the following 14-game winning streak. But, that streak came to an end last Friday in a doubleheader against the Bulldogs once again.
After the longest winning streak in the school’s known history, the Serpents fell to Smith Valley by a score of 13-3. The Serpents were handled by the Bulldogs pitcher over five innings and posted only two hits. Those two hits came at the hands of Phillip Dees and Robert McFalls. Tony Dominguez was on the hill for the Serps, striking out four and allowing only two earned runs in the loss. Kaden Sunderland came in relief, holding the Bulldogs to just one more run.
After a loss in game one, the boys bounced back. Game two was a slugfest like not many have ever seen. The Serpents jumped out front with two runs in the first inning, but the Bulldogs responded with eight. That was the last time the Bulldogs would have the lead. The second inning ended with the Serpents out front 11-10. Then, a huge third inning by both teams left the score at 20-20. Ethan Nelms came in relief for Treven Wachsmuth, who struck out six in the affair. Nelms allowed just one more Bulldog to cross the plate as he registered his sixth save of the season. However, that was not the case for the Serpents as they continued to pound the Bulldog pitching, winning the game 32-21. This was the second time the Serpents have scored 32 runs in a single game this season.
The Serpent hitting barrage that was absent in the first game was alive and well in game two, scattering a total of 23 hits to Smith Valley’s 14. In the end it was superior hitting that won the day in both contests. The top offensive performance at the plate was Nelms who went 4-for-6 with two doubles and seven RBIs. Wachsmuth also scattered four hits and drove in four runs. Griffen Inman had two hits and Phillip Dees had three with a double and 5 RBIs.
One more noteworthy performance for the Serpents was that of Dominguez, who went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBIs. In addition he stole two bases on the day to take his season total to 53, and become the state’s all-time stolen base king. Tanner Owens, a former Serpent player who was Class of 2016, held the previous career stolen base record at 120. Dominguez, a Junior, now sits atop the list at 122, with one more season left.
The Serpents will travel to Wells today in preparation for their final regular season doubleheader and the deciding conference games for the Northeastern 1A Conference. The Serpents will need to bump Wells off in order to retain their title as the defending Northeastern Conference champs. “Til the last out – SERPENT BASEBALL!”