Power hitter Edarian Williams will be a freshman with UNLV baseball next season.
He got a head start at UNLV’s Wilson Stadium on Sunday night in the American Legion state tournament.
Williams went 2-for-3 with a double, a grand slam, two runs and four RBIs to lead the Las Vegas Aces to a 12-2 victory over the Southern Nevada Blue Sox in a rematch of the last two state championship games
The Aces, who lost in the final last year, remained undefeated and will face the Henderson Cougars in a winner’s bracket quarterfinal on at 8 p.m. on Monday.
Williams, who hit nine home runs for Rancho in the regular season, launched a rocket over the left-field wall in the bottom of the fourth inning after three consecutive bunt singles to put the game out of reach.
“I struggled a little bit yesterday, so it felt good to finally get out of it today and get the dub ultimately,” said Williams. “I kind of had that fire too, so (the feeling) was mutual.”
The Aces added three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to end the game on a mercy rule.
Aaron Roberts hit his second home run of the tournament and went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, and Parker Schmidt was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
Aces starter Israel Gutierrez worked his curveball effectively to keep the Blue Sox off balance to earn the win after allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings.
“I was very fired up, it felt good to beat them, especially when they beat us in the championship last year,” Gutierrez said. “This team carries me through a lot. They put up the runs, I do the work on the mound. I’ve just got to do my job and stay ahead. It helps me focus on the mound just to know they back me up and I back them up on the mound.”
The Blue Sox got two hits each from Nick Thompson and Kyle Turner.
The Blue Sox face Reno in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Henderson Cougars 4, Centennial 2 — Logan Bleazard went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, while also collecting the win after lasting 4⅔ innings, scattering two hits, striking out four and giving up just one unearned run.
After moving to left field, Bleazard helped preserve the lead with a diving catch while Centennial had the bases loaded.
The Cougars held off a seventh-inning rally by the Bulldogs, who left three on base to end the game.
Austin Krysczcuk was 2-for-3 with a run and one RBI to lead Centennial.
Centennial will face Silverado in an elimination game at 11:30 a.m. on Monday.
Silverado 12, Las Vegas Horns 2 — Austin Whittaker was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, andCaleb Hubbard was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, two runs and three RBIs as the Hawks eliminated the Horns.
Nikolas Cortez added two hits and three RBIs. Ryeant Horacek was the winning pitcher after firing a four-hittter.
Logan Berrier was 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Horns.
Reno 5, Las Vegas Patriots — The Knights erased a 2-0 deficit, scoring a run in the fifth and four more in the sixth to eliminate Patriots.
Sawyer Jaksick was 4-for-4, and Caden Grogan was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Reno. Michael Coyne scattered five hits and allowed just two runs — both unearned — over 6⅓ innings to earn the victory.
Caden Toki-Camat was 2-for-3, and Dawson Beard and Joshua Rogers each collected one hit and one RBI for the Patriots.