Freshman Mason Montoya hit a 3-run homer to lift the Bulldogs into the Regional Championship and qualify for State Playoffs. (Photo: YoshiYama)
Virgin Valley High School, Mesquite, NV-
Freshman Mason Montoya lifted the Bulldogs over the Pirates by hitting a 3-score home run in the third inning, allowing the Bulldogs never to look back the rest of the game on Wednesday, May 11th. Bulldogs won 10-2, securing a spot in the NIAA 3A Southern Regional Playoff Championship and qualifying for the NIAA 3A State Playoffs.
The first inning started with the Bulldogs loading the bases in the bottom of the first inning, leaving Mason Montoya at the plate. With a full count, Montoya was able to get the ball thrown outside of the strike zone, allowing Bryce Intagliata to walk home and Montoya with an RBI off a BB.
A hit in the top of the second and then a double by MV’s Chandler Evans led to a score and the tie for the game. Bulldogs did not respond in the second inning, keeping the score 1-1.
Then the magic of Montoya happened.
At 5:05 pm PST, Mason Montoya with 0 outs and 1-1 count smacked a pitch that soared straight to Left Field. Everyone thought it was going to be short with the wind gusts that were blowing against the ball’s direction. However, if it was meant to be the gusts stopped and the ball soared over the fence to shouts of exhilaration from the crowd and the home dugout.
“I really didn’t think the ball was going over the fence, but when it did it felt awesome,” said Mason after the game while all smiles.
With 3 scores knocked in off the home run by Mason Montoya, the Bulldogs kicked off in an offensive race with ne’er a look back.
Moapa Valley found no spark to their cannons and their ship sinking. They were able to find one more score in the 6th inning, but by then the Bulldogs added two more scores in the 5th and two more in the 6th, coming from RBI hits from Jared Jensen, Braden Harris, Aidan Litzenberger, and Drake Wakefield.
In the last inning, Kyler Sudweeks went in and pitched with unbelievable heat, striking out the last out to win the game. There was some controversy in the 7th inning when the Pirates had a player picked off while leading off the base by Sudweeks. MVHS Head Coach Justin Williams argued the play with both umpires to no avail.
Sudweeks took the win as the pitcher with 7 strikeouts in all 7 innings and only 4 hits. Garrett Hadley for Moapa Valley took the loss giving up 6 scores on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts while pitching into the fifth inning.
Montoya was the big story of the game offensively as he drove in 4 RBIs off his homer and walk. Kurt Felix was 2 for 4 at the plate with two hits to lead the team in batting. Moapa Valley’s Chandler Evans led the Pirates with 2 hits out of 3 times at the plate for a .667 batting average.
With the 10-2 win, the Bulldogs sealed a spot in the regional championship where they wait to see the results of the Consolation Bracket to determine their opponent. The Championship Game will be at Virgin Valley High School’s baseball field starting at 4:00 pm PST. The Bulldogs also sealed a spot in State playoffs next week at Fernley High School, on May 19-21, 2022.
Thursday, the Consolation Bracket will finish play to determine the opponent for the Bulldogs in the Championship game. At 1:00 pm PST, Boulder City and Pahrump Valley will play against each other. Boulder City beat Clark 15-5 on Wednesday while Pahrump Valley beat SLAM Nevada in a tightly contested game 12-11.
Moapa Valley will take on the winner of Pahrump Valley and Boulder City at 4:00 pm PST in Overton, Nevada right after the Pahrump/Boulder City matchup ends. The winner of Moapa Valley and Pahrump/Boulder City will meet Virgin Valley in the Championship on Friday.