Submitted by Darren Hamrey

Courtesy photo
The Mineral County High baseball team reached the state semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Indian Springs.

The Serpents went into the state tournament in Moapa Valley last weekend as the No. 2 seeded team from the North, and made it to the semifinals before ending their season just shy of the state championship game. They dropped two games to the state champion Indian Springs Thunderbirds, but not before claiming their status as “Best in the North” following postseason play for the Serpents.

It was the Serpents that eliminated Sierra Lutheran and Wells in the regional tournament, then eliminated Smith Valley in the state tournament to be the last team in the North standing.

That was not enough, however, as the Serpents would drop two to the No. 1 seeded Indian Springs team, who would go on to win the state championship for the second year in a row.

The Serps faced the Thunderbirds in game one. Treven Wachsmuth started the game on the bump. Wachsmuth gave up three hits and struck out five and allowed only two earned runs in what was a 3-2 ballgame into the 4th inning before shaky defense proved to be the downfall for the Serpents. Ethan Nelms came in relief and allowed two hits and two earned runs but it was two little too late as the Thunderbirds were able to put more runs across and win the game 10-2. The Serpents out-hit the Thunderbirds eight to five. David Ditmer drove in two runs for the Serpents and Bodie Oberhansli shined, going 3-for-3 on the game.

That left the Serpents in the same place they were in the regional tournament just a week prior, facing elimination in game two. They faced Smith Valley in the elimination round, after Smith had fallen victim to Alamo the day before. This was the standoff in the North. Ethan Nelms threw for the Serps, opposite Smith’s ace Isaac Rowe, who had beaten the Serpents in three games this season. The Hawthorne lineup scattered 12 hits on the game as Nelms allowed only six hits and three runs while registering seven strikeouts. Seth Bozzi and Griffen Inman scattered two hits each and Treven Wachsmuth went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The Serpents won the game, 7-3.

The Serpents would then face Indian Springs again in the semifinal game. Gavin Burroughs started on the hill for the Serpents and held a 0-0 ballgame into the 3rd inning before a couple free bases followed by shaky defense opened the door for the Thunderbirds. Wachsmuth and Kaden Sunderland came in relief but shaky defense remained to be the decisive blow for the Serps. Nelms, Oberhansli and Wachsmuth all had hits for the Serpents while the Thurderbirds put up six hits in the game, and held the Serpents to an 11-0 loss in their final game of the season.

Bodie Oberhansli shined at the plate over three games of the state tournament, going 5-for-9. Treven Wachsmuth was 4 for 9. Ethan Nelms collected his impressive 9th win of the season, Wachsmuth struck out eight over 4 2/3 inning to take his season total to a state-leading 118 strikeouts, and Tony Dominguez swiped two more bases to take his all-time career total to 171, the best in the state’s history. The Serpents ended their season 18-15 and proved to be the best team in the North. In addition, the pitching staff as a whole broke the standing school record for strikeouts with 271, a record previously held by the 2011 team that had a total of 259.

The Serpents bid farewell to six seniors in Tony Dominguez, Bodie Oberhansli, David Ditmer, Kaden Sunderland, Phillip Dees, and Griffen Inman. They will go out as a class with class here at MCHS and will be sorely missed. The Serpents will look to fill those six uniforms next season with an up and coming group of Sophomores and Freshman with their eyes on a state title, as well as leadership from another strong senior class of Ethan Nelms, Treven Wachsmuth, Gavin Burroughs, Jean Naranjo, and Seth Bozzi in 2020.