RENO — Pahranagat Valley’s baseball team looked as though it was ready to roll into the winners’ bracket in the Division IV state tournament on Thursday.
Wells had another idea.
The Leopards rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh to force extra innings, then scored three in the top of the eighth to beat the Panthers 13-10 at UNR’s Peccole Park.
“It just kind of got away from us at the end there,” Pahranagat Valley coach Brad Loveday said. “They kept chipping away and chipping away.”
Carlos Aguilar had the big blow in the eighth, when he hit a liner to center with two runners on. Pahranagat Valley center fielder Ike Taylor was shading Aguilar to left, and he was unable to cut off the sharply hit ball. It scooted all the way to the fence, and Aguilar rounded the bases for an inside-the-park homer to give Wells the win.
Wells (24-5-1) plays Virginia City (15-5) at 10 a.m. Friday at Wooster High. Pahranagat Valley (22-7) plays Indian Springs (14-10) in an elimination game at 1 p.m.
The Leopards scored twice in the seventh on RBI singles by Armando Soriano and Jake Witte to tie the game.
Reliever Jordan Martinez allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to get the win.
He came on during Pahranagat Valley’s six-run third inning that saw the Panthers take a 9-5 lead. But Martinez shut the Panthers down from there.
“He wasn’t overpowering or anything, but somthing was a little different about his release,” Loveday said. “And he did a really good job.”
Pahranagat Valley came through the losers’ bracket to win last week’s Southern League tournament, and Loveday hopes that experience gives his team confidence to do it again at state.
“I hope they realize that we’ve been there before and we’ve just got to do it again,” Loveday said.
Wade Leavitt had a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the first inning for Pahrangat Valley. Jake Carter was 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and two runs, and Christian Higbee went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs for the Panthers.
Virginia City 4, Indian Springs 1 — Carlos Robledo fired a two-hitter and struck out 11 as the Muckers knocked off the Thunderbirds.
Robledo struck out five consecutive batters at one point, and Indian Springs never got much going offensively.
Troy Heath lined a single to center in the first, and Baylee McCormick had a bloop single down the left-field line in the fifth to account for Indian Springs’ hits.
The Thunderbirds hurt themselves with baserunning errors. McCormick was erased in fifth when she thought the next batter had walked and was thrown out trotting to second on ball three.
Ryan Frank walked to lead off the seventh and went to second on a passed ball. But the game ended when Virginia City’s Brayden Ferguson made a diving catch in shallow center, then gunned down Frank trying to advance from second to third.
Indian Springs’ run came in the top of the sixth when Mason Hamlin led off with a pop fly to right field that Thomas Redican dropped for a three-base error.
Hamlin came home on a sacrifice fly by Nino Alvarez.
Heath was solid on the mound, allowing one earned run on six hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
Bodie Blakely went 2-for-3 with an RBI for Virginia City.