The first three weeks of the high school baseball season has seen more than its share of head-shaking upsets.
Nearly every day one of the area’s top teams either gets pushed to the limit or falls to a team that likely will finish well below it in the standings.
Las Vegas made sure it didn’t become another victim on Tuesday.
Dillon Dove tossed a five-inning three-hitter, and the Wildcats took advantage of seven errors and 10 walks to pull away for a 17-1 rout of visiting Eldorado.
“I open up the paper every day and there’s a major upset every day,” said Las Vegas coach Sam Thomas, whose team improved to 6-3-1 overall, 4-0 in the Northeast League and leads second-place Desert Pines by one game.
“I’m just hoping these kids don’t want to be the upset of the day. Anything can happen. It just depends on who shows up every day.”
The Wildcats saw only three pitches before taking the lead for good in the bottom of the first. Dustin Cash was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, and scored on consecutive errors on a botched pickoff attempt.
Eldorado (2-9, 2-2) committed four first-inning errors, but turned a double play when Dove popped up a suicide squeeze bunt to end the inning.
Las Vegas broke open the game in the third inning, scoring 10 times on seven hits, two errors and five walks from three Sundevils pitchers.
The Wildcats batted for nearly 30 minutes in the bottom of the third, sending 15 hitters to the plate.
“Our kids came up and put the ball in play,” Thomas said.
It was well more than enough offense for Dove, who used a nasty, sweeping curveball to strike out nine. He allowed only a first-inning double by Lucio Arreola and a pair of singles in the fourth inning.
Dove finished 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs, and Tyler Tidwell went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI for Las Vegas.