Las Vegas Mayhem ace Wes Morris has four pitches to turn to on the mound.
On Tuesday, he needed just one.
Using an overpowering fastball, Morris fired a two-hit shutout to stifle the Las Vegas Grizzlies and lead the Mayhem to a 5-0 win in the opening round of the Connie Mack state tournament at CSN’s Morse Stadium.
“My fastball has been getting more (velocity) all year,” said Morris, who struck out nine and allowed just one ball to leave the infield, a second-inning fly out to left field. Both hits he allowed were infield singles. “Just blowing it by people, getting out in front and finishing, I stayed within myself pretty much.
“I face every team the same way, have the same mentality (and) go at everybody 100 percent, just attack, attack, attack. When my change-up isn’t on, I just throw my fastball, curveball (and) slider.”
As it was, the heater was all he needed, as he induced eight groundouts, including a game-ending double play, and three infield pop outs.
“Wes has been our guy all year; that’s why he’s in our number one spot,” Mayhem coach Gino DiMaria said. “He deals, man, and he keeps us in games; we have a shot to win (when he’s pitching).”
The Mayhem (19-3) did all their damage in the third inning, sending 11 to the plate. Cruz Nevarez was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Alec Taft and Juan Deolarte then stroked back-to-back singles to give the Mayhem a 1-0 lead.
After a sacrifice bunt and strikeout, Jaime Solis blooped a two-run single into right field. J.D. Garcia followed with a single to score Solis, and Garcia eventually came home when Nevarez reached on an error.
All nine Mayhem hitters got on base during the game. Taft led the offensive attack, finishing 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
The Mayhem will meet Green Valley Elite (17-6) in a winners’ bracket semifinal at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Grizzlies face the Summerlin Panthers (14-8) in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Las Vegas Crusaders 6, Las Vegas Bulldogs 2 — The Crusaders (16-7) used a four-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and pull away for the win.
Zach Trageton fired five innings of one-run ball, scattering two hits and striking out five. Cruz Daddorio went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Jake Koentopp also went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Jason Eary was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs for the Crusaders, who will meet Southern Nevada Falcons (21-2) in a winners’ bracket semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The Bulldogs (14-9) face the Las Vegas Mustangs (12-10) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Green Valley Elite 6, Summerlin Panthers 3 — Though the Panthers put on a hitting display, Green Valley erased a 3-2 deficit with a four-run sixth inning.
Ty Burger was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs, and Eric Samson went 2-for-3 for Green Valley. Noah Wise struck out two in six innings.
Zach Ortale and Mitchell Rathbun each had three of Summerlin’s 11 hits.
Southern Nevada Falcons 2, Las Vegas Mustangs 1 — Nick Cardinale’s walk-off single to shallow center field in the bottom of the seventh scored Kaelli Maruyama from second base with the winning run to lead the Falcons by the Mustangs.
Tyler Van Stone threw a complete game, scattering five hits and striking out six. The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but the Mustangs tied it when Isaiah Blaylock’s towering sacrifice fly to center scored Kyle Gaura in the top of the sixth.