Submitted by Darren Hamrey
“What a weekend,” many would say if they traveled to watch the Mineral County High baseball team play last weekend in the regional playoff tournament in Virginia City. The No. 2 seeded Serpents played up and down baseball throughout the season and pulled it all together in the regional tournament after dropping a game in the first round to Smith Valley, 12-0.
The Serpents were on the bus at 5:30 a.m. to try their chances at the Bulldogs at 9 a.m. Treven Wachsmuth faced Smith’s ace Isaac Rowe pound for pound on the mound. Wachsmuth struck out six before exiting the game to save pitch count. Ethan Nelms and Glenn Reeves came in relief to manage the rest of the game’s outs before Tony Dominguez would close the game, but a series of unfortunate events on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for the Serpents left them in a hole they could not dig out of. Phillip Dees and Bodie Oberhansli had hits for the Serpents.
That sent the Serpents into the losers bracket where they would face Sierra Lutheran, who saved their ace pitcher, Warkentin to face the Hawthorne lineup. The Serpents scattered 10 hits in the game while Nelms started the game on the mound and allowed five runs. Tony Dominguez would shut down the Sierra Lutheran offense after the third inning.
Behind 5-0 the Serpents rallied in the fourth inning and scored six runs to take the lead. David Ditmer, Dees, Wachsmuth and Nelms all drove in runs. Sierra Lutheran would tie the game in the sixth inning. With two outs and two runners on, the Serpents went to Wachsmuth to close the game and eliminate Sierra Lutheran’s momentum. Wachsmuth struck out the hitter to end the inning, then struck out the side in the seventh inning to win the game 7-6. Nelms went 3-for-3 with two doubles.
The Serpents were back on the bus Saturday at 6:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start against the Wells Leopards, who saved their ace pitcher Rodriguez for the Serpents. Rodriguez had been tough on the Serpents over the last two seasons, but not this game. The Serpents were determined to win the game and notch their way into the state tournament, and that’s exactly what they did.
Nelms took the win for the Serpents, striking out five in 2 2/3 innings. Wachsmuth came in middle relief and struck out seven, and Dominguez got the save. The Serpent offense scattered 15 hits on the Leopards, beating them 9-2 and notching their way to state. Dominguez, Dees, Gavin Burroughs, and Seth Bozzi scattered two hits each. Wachsmuth drove in three runs. Bozzi and Oberhansli roped doubles, and Nelms went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
The Serpents faced Smith Valley in the championship game where they would face the Bulldog’s ace once again. With Wachsmuth, Nelms, and Dominguez’s arms spent, the Serpents looked to lefty Gavin Burroughs to do the job on the hill. Burroughs allowed only three runs on six hits the entire game, but that was all the Bulldogs needed as the Serpent offense was unable to generate runs on numerous well hit and well played balls. The Serpents matched the Bulldogs with six hits but remained scoreless and fell 3-0 and took the No. 2 seed on their way to state.
The Serpents travel to Moapa Valley for the state and will face Indian Springs at 6:30 p.m. in round one today. “GO SERPENTS!”