RENO — Moapa Valley’s baseball team gave up a six-run sixth inning on Friday at the Class 3A state tournament.
But that’s not what Pirates’ coach Justin Williams will remember most about the game. He’ll remember the way his team continued to battle, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh before falling 9-6 to Elko at UNR’s Peccole Park.
“From yesterday being down 10 and fighting back and today being down by seven and fighting back to have the tying run at the plate, it’s our never-say-die attitude that prevailed all season,” Williams said. “I wish obviously it would have ended somewhere a little different, but I’m very, very proud of these guys.”
Moapa Valley’s season ended with a 10-21 record.
After the Indians took a 9-2 lead, Moapa Valley got an RBI double from Kasen Hughes and an RBI single from Josh Repp in the bottom of the sixth to make it 9-4.
And the Pirates took advantage of three errors and an RBI single by Lane Stringham in the seventh to make things interesting. That effort epitomized a team that battled back from a 4-19 start to make the state tournament for the first time in 11 years.
“A month and a half ago, I never would have dreamed playing in the state championships,” Williams said. “I never would have dreamed it, but these kids kept fighting and never gave up.
“It’s a credit to the seniors. They’ve really driven this bus as far as it could go.”
Repp was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Hughes scored a pair of runs for Moapa Valley.
Tommy Headley was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs for Elko, which staved off elimination with the win.
The Indians (23-9) then defeated Churchill County 8-7 to advance to the 3A title round. Elko will face Truckee (28-5) at 9 a.m. Saturday at Peccole. Elko would have to win twice to claim the title.
Truckee advanced with a 9-3 victory over Churchill County (17-18) earlier Friday.