Even though the Pahranagat Valley baseball team has only two seniors, coach Brad Loveday says his team isn’t easily rattled.
The Panthers had plenty of chances to fall apart Friday at the Class 1A state tournament but persevered and now are one win from their second straight championship.
Pahranagat Valley was one out from ending the game early on the 10-run rule before Beatty rallied, but the Panthers held on for a wild 19-14 victory at Sunrise Mountain.
The teams meet again at 10 a.m. today. If Beatty wins, a second game would be played to determine the champion.
The Panthers led 13-3 with two outs in the fifth when Beatty scored nine runs to make things interesting.
“What an ugly inning,” said Loveday, who saw the Hornets send 14 batters to the plate in the fifth. “But they didn’t rattle. These kids play football, basketball and baseball together, and it seems nothing fazes them. They got right back to work.”
Pahranagat Valley scored the next six runs to put away Beatty.
Perhaps the game’s biggest workhorse was Panthers sophomore pitcher Tyler Higbee, who worked into the seventh inning and threw well over 130 pitches, including 47 in the Hornets’ nine-run fifth.
Kale Leavitt had three of Pahranagat Valley’s 12 hits and scored five times. Derek Hansen drove in four runs, including a three-run triple in the third. Tyson Sparrow scored four runs.
Jose Moreno had four hits to lead Beatty.
Beatty 5, Mineral County 3 — Ivan Maldonado squelched a seventh-inning rally with a game-ending diving catch at second base to help the Hornets escape with a victory over the Serpents in the losers’ bracket final.
The win lifted Beatty into today’s championship series.
Ricardo Pelayo tossed a four-hitter for the win.
Jacob Zamora broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch to give Beatty a 2-0 lead.
The Hornets tacked on three runs in the sixth, highlighted by Ivan Hernandez’s two-run single, and carried a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
The Railroaders, who defeated Carlin 14-13 earlier Friday, rallied with an RBI double by Aron Powe and an unearned run, setting up Maldonado’s clutch catch.