Courtesy photo
Andre Davis pitches for Mineral County in the Spring Break Baseball Brawl.

Submitted by Darren Hamrey

It’s not every day a 1A high school gets an invite to a 3A/4A baseball tournament, but this year was different. Upon an invitation from Hug High to join in their Spring Break Baseball Brawl, the Serpents travelled to Reno for a four-game set against the “big boys.” After Thursday’s games were rained out, the Serpents bounced back on Friday to get their first chance at some tough competition.

In game one it was big Taylen Wachsmuth that guided the Serpents to a 9-4 win against Western High School from Las Vegas.

Wachsmuth almost single-handedly beat Western, striking out 10 and throwing out 7, which resulted in 17 of the 21 outs in the game. He also went 2 for 4 at the plate, with a triple and an RBI. Cleanup hitter, David Ditmer registered a double and drove in three runs, while Brandon West drove in 2 runs on a 5th inning triple. Seth Bozzi had a hit and two RBIs and Tony Dominguez scored three runs and stole four bases.

West took the hill against Hug High on their home turf in game two. The Serpents faced a hard-throwing righty that kept them at bay as they continued to hit into defensive outs. Though the Serpents hit the ball throughout the game, it was young Treven Wachsmuth that registered the only hit on Hug’s pitcher, a two-run single in the 3rd inning. That followed an injury that removed Dominguez from the game after stealing a base. A couple of tough innings for the Serps followed and West took the loss as the Serpent fell to Hug, 12-3. Andre Davis had a solid outing to close the game, striking out 2 on 3 batters.

Game three saw the three-pitcher combo of Taylen and Treven, as well as Davis. The trio gave up only four hits on the contest, striking out seven Quincy, Calif. batsmen. In most cases that would be enough to shut down any team, but it wasn’t enough to shut down Quincy. Their pitcher, a tall right-hander with mediocre velocity chalked up a no-hitter against the Serpents on just two strikeouts. The Serpents hit into defensive outs time and time again, as Quincy enjoyed a game full of three up and three down innings in the 10-0 victory over the Serpents.

West took the start against Chadwick, Calif. in the final game of the tournament. West handled Chadwick over 2 1/3 innings before pitch count forced the Serpents to dig into their bullpen. The Serpent pitching did not have the depth this far into a tournament and they struggled to keep Chadwick batters off base. Once again it was a case of untimely hitting and solid defense that caused problems for the Serpent lineup. Just as the game prior, the Serpents hit into outs the entire game, aside from the efforts of Taylen who knocked two hits, one a double and two RBIs. The Serpents managed to add up six total hits in the game but it wasn’t enough to tame Chadwick. Just as it was in the previous games, shaky defense on the side of the Serpents proved to be their downfall as they dropped the last game of the tournament, 15-3.

The Serpents travelled to Beatty on Tuesday and will travel to Carlin for their first conference matchup this weekend. They ended the week with their record still on the winning side as they take it to 7-6-1.