The Mineral County High baseball team had to claw to get two wins out of three games last week.
On Tuesday, they travelled to Tonopah to face the Muckers on their home turf. The Hit Squad showed the Muckers what their nickname meant, as they put up eight runs on seven hits in the first inning alone. But the Serpents weren’t the only ones ready to play that day, as the Muckers were not going down without a fight. They answered by putting up five runs in the first inning to keep the Serpents on their toes.
Mineral County pitched by committee. However, Taylen Wachsmuth was the first of five pitchers to stand on the mound. He struck out three over three innings. Pitching beyond that point allowed too many free passes, which resulted in runs throughout the game. Luckily the Serpents continued to mash the ball as they tallied an impressive 19 runs on 19 hits.
The Muckers answered by putting up seven more runs in the bottom of the 7th inning and with two outs and the tying run on third base, the Serpents went to their senior right hander, Daniel Owens. Owens threw three pitches, which resulted in a hot ground ball fielded cleanly by Griffen Inman who threw over to first to end the game with a score of 19-18.
On Saturday, the Serpents met Carlin in their first Northern Division IV Conference match up. In game one, Carlin’s Williams devoured the bottom of the Serpent lineup, striking out a total of 14 in the game.
But, the top of the Serpent lineup was too much for the lefty, as the first four hitters put up eight hits alone. The Serpent took a loss in game one by a score of 9-4. Tanner Owens and Daniel Owens both had two hits and Isaiah Crowl scattered three. Tanner Owens took the loss in a strong pitching effort for the Serpents.
Game two left the Serpents hungry for a win. Daniel Owens led the Serpents to their first conference win, striking out an impressive 17 Railroaders and giving up zero earned runs. In the three innings, he struck out eight straight batters. Another difficult defensive effort for the Serpents left the game close.
The Serpents were trailing 5-3 going into the bottom of the 7th inning when Eddie Dunnett led off and reached first base on a hit by pitch. Daniel Owens and Tanner Owens followed with base hits, and LJ Donalson drove in the tying run, which left two runners on for Isaiah Crowl, who had a hot bat all day. The Carlin coach intentionally walked Crowl to load the bases with one out, to face Wachsmuth, who was hit by a pitch to earn the game winning RBI.
On the day, Tanner Owens had four hits and seven stolen bases, taking his season total for swipes to 43. Daniel Owens had three hits, with a triple. Donaldson four hits, and Isaiah Crowl finished with four hits. Eddie Dunnett had a breakout performance in game two with two hits, two runs and two stolen bases to help lead the Serpents to a split with the Carlin Railroaders taking their season record to 11-5, and 1-1 in conference.
The Serpents face Pyramid Lake in their second conference double header in Nixon on Saturday.