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Bishop Gorman gets to Nick Rupp early, rolls past Spring Valley

Spring Valley’s pitching staff has been a strength all season. But ace Nick Rupp was no match for Bishop Gorman on Tuesday.

The Gaels roughed up Rupp for eight runs in two innings en route to a 15-5 road victory over the Grizzlies to clinch the Southwest League baseball title.

“We came out as a team and we really came after a good guy, Rupp,” said Gorman senior Austin Wells, who went 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and four runs. “We knew we had to start off early, and that’s what we did. We really banged the ball in the first couple innings.”

Rupp, who has committed to the College of Southern Nevada, entered the game with a 1.74 ERA. But the second-ranked Gaels (24-4, 15-1 Southwest) wasted no time jumping on him, lining three of the first four strikes they saw for hits.

“We knew we had to come out and attack early and not let them get in their groove,” Gorman coach Gino DiMaria said. “We came out that way. We attacked the zone aggressively, and it worked out for us.”

Nick Israel led off with a double inside the bag at third base and scored on a single by Braxton Wehrle. After a single by Jorel Hingada, Wells was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Wehrle, and Nick Hernandez hit a two-run double to left for a 4-0 lead.

Gorman got a two-run single from John Gaughan and RBI singles from Wehrle and Wells in the second to extend the lead to 8-0 and chase Rupp, who allowed seven earned runs on nine hits.

It was the second consecutive day the Gaels knocked around a Spring Valley starter. Jaxson Otis, who had allowed one earned run in 34 innings entering the week, gave up six earned runs in six innings Monday against Gorman.

Wehrle was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs, and Gaughan went 2-for-5 with a double and four RBIs for the Gaels. Every Gorman starter had at least one hit.

Humberto Maldonado went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer for No. 5 Spring Valley (22-6, 12-5).

Gorman has won seven consecutive games and hopes to continue that streak in its final two regular-season games this week.

“We can’t have a letdown,” DiMaria said. “The most important thing is every day at practice we grind. And it’s starting to pay off. The perfect time to be hot is now.”

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at dseiters@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.

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