There was a time when it looked as if Mike Wallace’s high school baseball career might be over.
But the senior shortstop/pitcher made a quick recovery from shoulder surgery and has returned to lead The Meadows into the Class 2A state tournament, which begins Friday at Mountain View.
“It worked out really well. At one point, I thought I was going to miss all of baseball,” Wallace said. “To come where we are now is just unbelievable.”
The Mustangs (17-8) will play Whittell (16-11) in the double-elimination tournament at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Needles (21-6) will play Pershing County (22-6) at 9 in the first game.
Wallace hurt his nonthrowing shoulder attempting to make a tackle during football season. The injury cost him nearly all of the basketball season, and he finally had surgery Feb. 13 to repair a host of problems, including a torn labrum and torn ligaments.
He was told he would miss three months. He returned to the field in April, missing just one league doubleheader.
“Mike Wallace was out for a while, and when he came back it just seemed like things started to jell a little more,” The Meadows coach Frank DeSantis said. “He gave us some senior leadership.”
The Mustangs advanced to state last season but lost both games. But after losing just one senior to graduation, this year’s team is ready for a stronger showing.
“Our team’s looking really good,” Wallace said. “Last year we were good, but we just didn’t have the depth that we have this year. And throughout our whole entire batting order, everybody’s hitting the ball this year.”
The Class 1A state tournament will begin today at Arbor View. Indian Springs (18-6) will play Carlin (21-7) at 1 p.m., and Southern Region champ Lake Mead (19-8) will meet Virginia City at 4.
The Class 3A tournament will start today at Faith Lutheran.
Faith Lutheran (13-20) will play Spring Creek (26-6-1) at 3 p.m., and Southern League champion Virgin Valley (25-7) will play Truckee (21-12) at 6.
All three small-school tournaments are double-elimination and run through Saturday.