Just minutes before Canyon Springs and Mojave faced off in the Cowboy Classic championship game at Chaparral, the Rattlers still didn’t know who would be on the mound.
Elijah Glaze had been sore the day before and was questionable.
But after warmups, Glaze gave the thumbs up and said he was good to go.
And after giving up two runs in the first inning, Glaze settled in and threw five innings in the Rattlers’ 8-4 victory.
“Everyone was like ‘What’s the lineup? What’s the lineup? I was like ‘Guys, hold on. I have to figure out if he can pitch,’ because we’re not super deep with bench players,” said junior varsity coach Clint Hernandez, who was filling in for head coach Mike Hunter. “If he doesn’t pitch, there’s a domino effect that happens, but he was good to go and he performed his heart out.”
Though it wasn’t Glaze’s best start — he gave up four runs and tossed just one 1-2-3 inning — he pitched well enough to get the victory.
In the sixth, with the bases loaded, catcher Chris Clawson picked up his pitcher with a diving catch on a foul ball to end the threat — and the inning.
“[He] got into trouble sometimes but he got key outs when we needed them,” Hernandez said.
In a tournament with other pitchers battling inning limitations, being able to throw Glaze for six innings was a luxury for the Rattlers.
The Pioneers were more handcuffed with starter Johnny Flores knocked out of the game early.
Flores and their three subsequent pitchers all struggled with control at one point.
Flores took the loss after giving up five runs in three-plus innings with three Rattlers scoring on wild pitches.
Canyon Springs’ four pitchers gave up a combined 11 wild pitches and 12 walks and hit one batter, allowing the Rattlers to score eight runs on just four hits.
“That’s how the game goes sometimes,” Hernandez said. “We just always try to take advantage of whatever we can to better our chances to win and that’s it. Whatever it takes.”
Wednesday marked the Rattlers’ second victory over Canyon Springs, a Division I school, in three days. Mojave plays in Division I-A.
“To be able to beat a team that is in the D-I … I just think shows these kids and their heart and their ability to come out and play good ball against anybody,” Hernandez said.
Desert Pines 11, Pahrump Valley 10 — At Canyon Springs, Jesse Cardenas’ RBI groundout in the top of the sixth inning plated Juan Castaneda with the go-ahead run as the Jaguars nipped the Trojans in six innings in the third-place game.
Vasaifanua Hansell was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for the Jaguars. His single up the middle in the sixth inning tied the game. Raymond Minero was 2-for-3 with three runs for Desert Pines.
Valley 10, Virgin Valley 3 — At Canyon Springs, Geovanni Marrero-Perez-Negron had two hits and four RBIs to lead the Vikings by the Bulldogs.
Winning pitcher Alonso Osorio-Kalawe threw an eight-hitter and had two RBIs.
Virgin Valley’s Cade Anderson had three hits, and Marcelo Lara added two hits for the Bulldogs.
Clark 7, Tech 6 — At Canyon Springs, Brendan Palmer went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and an RBI to help the Chargers edge the Roadrunners in six innings.
Zachary Graham was 2-for-3 with two runs for Clark.
Jalen Birch had two hits for Tech.
Eldorado 13, Chaparral 1 — At Chaparral, Joseph Torres was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run as the Sundevils routed the Cowboys in six innings.
Isaac Villanueva went 1-for-2 with a double and three RBIs for Eldorado. Sundevils starter Julio Rodarte allowed an unearned run on two hits and struck out five in five innings to get the win.
Connor Jarvis was 2-for-3 for Chaparral.