His team is the defending Class 3A state champion, has won 12 of its past 13 games and will open the postseason at home against a team it was 3-1 against in the regular season.
But Virgin Valley baseball coach Boyd Wittwer isn’t taking anything for granted as the Bulldogs open the 3A Southern League playoffs.
Top-seeded Virgin Valley (23-6) begins a best-of-3 series against fourth-seeded Boulder City (9-18) at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Mesquite.
“It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it sure takes the pressure off,” Wittwer said of owning the No. 1 seed. “It’s nice to have it at home, there’s no doubt about that.”
Game 2 and Game 3, if necessary, are Saturday, with the winner of the series clinching one of the league’s two spots in the 3A state tournament.
In the other series, second-seeded Faith Lutheran (11-20) hosts third-seeded Moapa Valley (14-16) beginning with Game 1 at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Virgin Valley swept Boulder City 5-1 and 9-4 at home on April 17 but split with a 9-4 win and 3-2 loss at Boulder City on Friday.
“I think we match up well, but Boulder City is a good team regardless of seeding,” Wittwer said. “We played a doubleheader at their place and it was tough all the way.”
Wittwer said the key to the Bulldogs’ 12-game winning streak from April 14 to May 8 was improved consistency from the pitching staff.
“Our pitching had been up and down a little bit,” he said. “Our pitchers started doing a little better job, being more consistent not walking people and forcing the opponent to swing the bat.”
Wittwer said ace senior right-hander Travis Leavitt would probably start Friday’s opener and that junior right-hander Zach Horlacher would get the nod for Game 2.
Relievers Jason Wittwer, Jonathan Gleave, Anthony Morris and Terran Leavitt have also been reliable, Wittwer said.
Wittwer doesn’t want his players thinking about their 3-1 edge over the Eagles in the regular-season series.
“I think they need to go in like it’s 0-0,” he said. “They cannot overlook Boulder City. Regardless of their seeding in league, it’s a legitimate team.”
Virgin Valley is gunning for its first repeat state title since winning 1A crowns in 1982 and 1983.
The 2A Southern League tournament begins Friday at Needles (Calif.).
Top-seeded Needles (18-4) faces No. 4 White Pine (11-19) at 9 a.m. and No. 2 The Meadows (14-7) plays No. 3 West Wendover (14-10) at 11:30 a.m.
The 1A Southern Region tournament begins Thursday at Alamo.
Central League No. 1 seed Indian Springs (16-4) meets South No. 2 Lake Mead (16-8) at 3:30 p.m. and South No. 1 Pahranagat Valley (11-9) faces Central No. 2 Tonopah (7-7) at 6 p.m.