After winning the first Class 4A Southern Nevada Championship game Saturday at Bishop Gorman, Desert Oasis baseball coach Paul Buboltz wasn’t sure if there was a trophy for his team.
There wasn’t. So instead of hoisting a trophy in celebration after a 10-0 victory over Las Vegas, the Diamondbacks gathered around the first-base dugout and whooped it up as senior D.J. Jefferson’s cat — the team’s de facto mascot — was hoisted above their heads.
Surprisingly, the cat kept a calm demeanor amid the noisy romp, acting as if it had been there before.
The same could be said for the Desert Region champion Diamondbacks, who overwhelmed the Wildcats, the Mountain Region champions.
Desert Oasis senior Aaron Roberts led the way, pitching four innings of two-hit ball with nine strikeouts and one walk.
“It was one of those games where everything was clicking and where all my stuff was on,” Roberts said. “I just felt in command the whole time.”
Senior second baseman Zac Czerniawski clinched the championship in the bottom of the fifth inning, smacking a bases-loaded single to score Parker Schmidt and end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
Czerniawski finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
“We have been hitting the ball all year, and nothing changed today,” Buboltz said. “Some of our guys got some big hits for us. Obviously coming out and getting a three-spot in the first inning kind of set the tone for the game.”
Campbell Holt put Desert Oasis (31-7) ahead with one out in the first inning on a double off the right-field wall that scored Schmidt. Two batters later, Jacob Walsh smacked a two-run single to push the lead to 3-0.
“Whenever these guys come out of the gate, scoring a lot of runs early, I know it’s going to be a great game,” Roberts said. “It’s really exciting. Being on this team for four years, all the hard work our senior class of 10 have put in, we have been waiting for this our whole high school career.”
Desert Oasis earned its first region tournament championship and first trip to state this season. And those milestones have been witnessed by Jefferson’s cat, Cali.
“When we won the San Diego Lions Tournament (in April), on the very first day we found this stray cat,” Roberts said. “We checked with the local people there, and there was nothing about a missing cat, so we kept it. We won that tournament. And ever since then, we brought it to every single one of our games, and we have just been winning.”
The Diamondbacks received a first-round bye in the state tournament and will play Arbor View or Bishop Manogue at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial.
Las Vegas (27-9) will meet Basic at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bishop Gorman.