Basic’s Jack Wold has come up with numerous big hits in his high school baseball career.
But nothing can top what he’s done in the first inning of state championship games.
For the second consecutive season, Wold homered in the bottom of the first, and the Wolves rolled to a 16-6, five-inning victory over Galena at Las Vegas High on Saturday for the Class 4A state title.
“I guess we could say that was our plan,” Basic coach Scott Baker joked about Wold’s homer. “That’s our senior guy, and that’s been him for the last three years. He always came up big.”
Wold came up with a runner on and one out and fell behind in the count. But he drilled a 1-and-2 pitch over the fence in right-center field to give Basic (29-7) an early spark.
“It’s funny, because I thought about last year, but I didn’t think it was going to happen again,” Wold said. “I got behind, had two strikes on me. I was just trying to get to the next man any way I could.
“I put a good swing on it and had a good result. But I was just trying to stay alive.”
The blow sparked a three-run first and gave Basic the early psychological edge. It also was the last time Galena pitched to Wold, as he was intentionally walked in his next three plate appearances.
“I knew that the momentum shifted in our favor, and it was going to be real hard to shift it back,” senior catcher Roger Riley said of Wold’s blast.
The Wolves took a 9-1 lead after three innings before starter Christian Sanford ran into control problems. The Grizzlies (25-15) scored five runs in the fourth to pull within three runs at 9-6, but Basic quickly stopped the momentum.
“It was kind of like a wake-up call, because you can never take anyone lightly, no matter who it is,” Wold said. “No matter if it’s the ’27 Yankees or a Little League team, you can never take anyone lightly. It’s baseball. Everybody has a chance.”
Riley scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, and the Wolves scored six runs in the fifth to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule. John Howard Bobo blooped a ball that fell in front of a diving center fielder with two outs, and Riley and Paul Myro came around to score to end the game.
Tom Lichty went 3-for-4 with a double and a run for Galena, which edged Rancho 13-12 earlier Saturday in the completion of a game suspended on Friday. Niko Pezonella had an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to give the Grizzlies that win.
Basic’s Garrett Giles was 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs, and Bobo, Riley and Myro each added two RBIs for the Wolves, who won their second consecutive state title. Basic previously hadn’t won state since 1987.
“It meant a lot last year, but I think it means so much more this year,” Wold said. “We changed the culture of this program and this school. And we’ve left a legacy.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.