Las Vegas High baseball coach Sam Thomas was more than a little concerned about his team’s offense entering Wednesday’s game with rival Rancho.
Facing Rams starter Andrew Wieger, who has a fastball that reaches 90 mph, didn’t help.
But it took the Wildcats less than two innings to ease their veteran coach’s fears.
Las Vegas started the game with six hits in its first 10 at-bats off Wieger and cruised to an 8-3 home win over the Rams.
“It was a shock,” said Thomas, whose team had only four hits in a season-opening 3-1 win at Eldorado on Monday. “After the way we played against Eldorado, there was no way I could have predicted that, especially against Andrew.”
The Wildcats took advantage of a leadoff error to score three unearned runs on three hits in the first inning, then tacked on two runs on three hits in the second.
Hector Perez singled and scored in the first and had an RBI double in the second inning for Las Vegas (2-0).
“The biggest thing was the second inning, to answer with two more runs,” Thomas said.
Winning pitcher Jaime Solis added a two-run double in the fourth and came around to score on Eddie Ojeda’s one-out single to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead.
Solis, Perez and Ojeda — the top three hitters in Las Vegas’ order — were a combined 7-for-11 with six RBIs. Ojeda was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Perez went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Solis was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs.
“They got fed up with taking pitches,” Thomas said. “They were more aggressive at the plate today, and it was successful. I think they’re starting to buy into the fact that pop-ups don’t get you on base.”
Solis also was solid on the mound, allowing five hits and no runs while striking out six in the first five innings. He walked the first two batters in the sixth before being lifted.
“Everything we could have asked for,” Thomas said. “It’s early in the season. We didn’t want to stretch him that far, but we know Rancho is never going to give up, and we wanted our horse on the mound.
“This was a win that we needed.”
Angel Walker was 4-for-4 with a triple, a double and three RBIs for Rancho (1-6).
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at email@example.com or 702-387-5230.