Submitted by Darren Hamrey

Courtesy photo
Ethan Nelms delivers a pitch for Mineral County during the season-opening El Capitan Classic Tournament in Hawthorne.

Following the honorary first pitch by Mr. Tommy Lyle Sr., the opening of baseball season was underway last week. It was junior right-hander, Ethan Nelms on the mound for the Serpents as they took on the Lone Pine Golden Eagles. Lack of practice proved to be the downfall for the Serps in the first inning, giving up 11 runs on multiple errors. The Mineral County boys shaped up however, holding the Golden Eagles to just one more run the remainder of the game. Nelms walked just one and allowed four hits in a strong first outing on the hill for the Serpents.

The boys in black and gold didn’t let a 10-run deficit keep them down though. They climbed back to take the game from the Golden Eagles, 13-12. In the final inning the home team drew three walks to start the inning, leaving the bases juiced for senior David Ditmer, who blasted a line drive to the gap, scoring two. Bodie Oberhansli followed him with another hit, his third of the game. Then, it was sophomore Glenn Reeves that roped a triple to clear the bases and take the game within reach at 12-12. It was Reeves that would score the winning run on a groundball by Griffen Inman to win the game. Nelms helped his own effort with a double in the first inning and Tony Dominguez added four stolen bases.

Game two of the El Capitan Classic would start about the same way as the first for the Serpents, allowing eight runs to the Silver Stage Nighthawks in the first inning. Senior, Phillip Dees got the start for the Serpents with Dominguez and Reeves in relief. The Serps dropped the game 13-3, but matched the Nigthawk hitting evenly at three hits apiece. However, it was the Nighthawks’ one walk to the Serpent’s 14 free bases that made the difference in the game. Dominguez, Inman, and Ryan Jaramillo all registered hits for the Serpents.

Friday night gave each team a shot at winning the home run derby. Koby Mattson from North Tahoe won the title for the 2nd consecutive year but the Serpents had a great showing with Ditmer, Nelms, and Oberhansli all swinging it for the home team.

Day two of the tournament was going to see a tougher lineup for the Serpents as they faced off with the tournament Champions, Mammoth Huskies in their first game of the day. Tony Dominguez gave up just two hits in the outing, while the Serpents scattered six. Down 6-2 going into the last inning, the Serpents made a run to within reach but fell short on shaky base-running, 6-5.

The final game of the tournament saw the two toughest arms go head to head in Mineral County’s Treven Wachsmuth and North Tahoe’s Koby Mattson. Wachsmuth had relief in Ryan Jaramillo and Julio Alvarez in order to keep his pitch count down, but pound for pound both pitching staff’s gave up six hits each. North Tahoe got out on top from shaky defense and a couple free bases, but in the final inning the Serpents put on a hitting display, chalking up five runs on five hits, one a three run triple by Ethan Nelms. Griffen Inman added a couple hits going 2-for-2, but the Serpents fell to the Lakers, 12-5.

The Serpents ended the tournament with a 1-3 record. They played Virginia City on Tuesday and are set to travel to Coleville for a double-header on Saturday.