VVHS, Mesquite, NV-

The Virgin Valley High School Baseball team started out the season doing prep work and repairs at their baseball field while also adding new features during the weekend of March 5th and 6th. However, their skills and play did not need any repairs as they picked up a “new” winning attitude which carried over into the Cactus Classic Baseball tournament as they killed the competition and ended with a “new” title as Cactus Classic Tournament Champions.

The Bulldogs kicked up plenty of dirt as they scored a massive 60 runs to secure win the Cactus Classic. (Photo: Jason Andrus)

The Ball ‘Dawgs’ went into the beginning of the Cactus Classic as the hosts and in Pool A which consisted of San Juan, Utah, and Wells, Nevada besides them. In Pool B was Lincoln County, NV, Indian Springs, NV, and of course VVHS rival Moapa Valley.

The teams got to use the new features of batting cages at the Northside of the field. The fans gathered from all over Nevada and Utah cheering on their teams with beautiful weather during the tournament which occurred during March 10-12, 2022.

On Thursday, March 10th, they played Indian Springs beating them 12-2 with the pitching of Junior Matthew Hughes who whipped up 8 strikeouts. On the offensive side, Sophomore Kurt Felix drove in 3 RBIs with a home run in the 1st inning. The ‘Dawgs scored 10 runs in the first inning. The game was a warm-up game so it only lasted 4 innings and had no determination on seeding for the tournament.

Also on Thursday, San Juan played Moapa Valley with the Broncos losing to the Pirates 6-10. The other teams of Wells and Lincoln County played with Wells Leopards losing to the Lincoln County Lynx 6-7.

On Friday, March 11th, the tournament got started with the hosts playing a doubleheader, first against Wells and then against San Juan. In the first game of the day, the ‘Dawgs got their bats going right away as they scored 4 runs in the first inning and 8 in the very next inning. The Sophomores were sensational as Drake Wakefield, Kurt Felix, and Chandon Jensen had hits with 6 RBIs. Meanwhile, Junior Jared Jensen had 10 Ks as the pitcher. The Boys in Green won 12-1 over the Leopards of Wells.

Bats were cracking as the offensive storm the Bulldogs shattered opponents’ chances of winning. (Photo: Jason Andrus)

The second game of the back-to-back games was against the San Juan Broncos which they claimed 12-7, but after a much tougher task in the lone Utah team. Within the first two-inning, the Bulldogs jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the Broncos fought back to score 7 while the Bulldogs added four more to secure the win. Another Sophomore took the reigns and led with 3 RBIs and went 3 for 3 for the game, Bryce Intagliata. Kurt Felix pitched the majority of the game with 6 K and 2 BB, but Kyler Sudweeks came in for the Save after a rough inning pitched by Martin Jordan when the Broncos rallied.

Other game results from Friday included Indian Springs Thunderbirds beating Lincoln County 8-2, then losing to San Juan 3-5. Lincoln County after losing to Indian Springs then lost to Moapa Valley Pirates 5-8. San Juan also beat Wells 9-3. Moapa Valley surprisingly lost earlier to Indian Springs, 4-10. These games then set up the seeding for the Consolation Game and the Semifinal games on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Consolation Game had the 3 seed from Pool A Wells vs the 3 seed from Pool B Lincoln County at 8:00 am with Lincoln County coming out on top, 16-3. At 10:00 am, the first semifinal had the #1 seed of Pool A Virgin Valley vs the #2 seed of Pool B, Moapa Valley. And the other semifinal game at noon had #1 seed of Pool B Indian Springs playing the #2 seed of Pool A San Juan. In the semifinal between Indian Springs and San Juan, the closest contested game occurred with San Juan squeezing out a 5-3 win.

The rivalry matchup of the Bulldogs and Pirates during the semifinal game went all to the Dog Pound as they muzzled the Pirates by a final score of 7-0. The offensive player of the game was Stratton Waite who batted an average of .667 with 2 hits and 1 RBI. With help from the batting prowess of Aidan Litzenberger and Bryce Intagliata, they were able to make the Pirates walk the plank. The defense was a huge key as the whole team played their part in helping the team secure a near-perfect .997 Fielding Percentage with only 1 error, shutting down the offensive attack of the Pirates. The Player of the game was Intagliata who also had 2 stolen bases, 8 strikeouts, and only allowed 2 hits.

The Final Championship game was later on that day as the Virgin Valley Bulldogs matched up against San Juan Broncos who they already had played on Friday in Pool Play, beating them 12-7. This time around the Bulldogs went on a hitting rampage, knocking in 17 runs and even though the Broncos also had the offense going, they had no answer defensively for the Bulldogs bats. The final score was a high scoring 17-9. San Juan had two Juniors who helped score their 9 scores, Garrett Young and Collin Baker. Garrett Young hitting a .500 and Baker a perfect 2 for 2 with a batting average of 1.00.

The offensive players for the Big Green were evenly distributed between almost the whole lineup with Intagliata batting a .667 and hitting a homer, as well as knocking in 6 RBIs. Senior Cameron Perkins also had the best game of the season for him as he hit .500 and went 1 for 2 at the plate knocking in another RBI. The game really came down to defensive play by the team. Helping them secure the big defensive advantage over the Broncos was Senior Joey Kazek who had 13 chances at fielding the ball and went perfect getting 13 outs to help secure the title of “Champions”.

Drake Wakefield, Kurt Felix, and Head Coach Dan Wright spent time fixing the baseball field fencing before the season started. (Photo: YoshiYama Photography)
Assistant Coach Nick Montoya gets the field ready for new batting cages and the new season. (Photo: YoshiYama Photography)

They played SLAM on Tuesday and won 5-3 while losing a close one to Parowan (UT) today 4-6. An article will be up at the beginning of next week about these two games as stats have not been received yet. The Bulldogs are now 7-2 having lost their non-league game against Legacy on March 3rd to Legacy and now to Parowan.

The Ball ‘Dawgs travel to Boulder City (3-4) on Tuesday, March 22nd at 3:30 pm, then home on March 24th against Valley (2-1) at 3:30 pm, and finally on Friday the 25th against Pahrump Valley (4-2) at home starting at 3:30 pm.

The VVHS Baseball is coached by Dan Wright with help from Nick Montoya and Nathan Porter.

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