The team tackles Bryce Intagliata in celebration after he strikes out the 3rd out for the State Championship win. (Photo: Tahoe Truckee Media, courtesy of NIAA, http://www.niaa.com)
Fernley High School, Fernley, NV-
In a rush to the field, amongst a doggy pile of Bulldogs, the celebration began as Bryce Intagliata fire blasted the ball past the batter, catching him looking for Strike 3 and the third out. The Bulldogs of Virgin Valley High School went undefeated in the NIAA 3A State Playoff tournament to win the title of Nevada State champions by beating the Wolverines of Truckee by a score of 12-6.
The matchups were played at Fernley High School, located at 1300 US-95 ALT in Fernley, Nevada, starting at 10:00 am PST. The game started out with Kyler Sudweeks on the mound for the Bulldogs and Damon Bacon started on as pitcher for Truckee. Sudweeks had 8 strikeouts and pitched 5-1/3 innings for the win.
Truckee was the visiting team and hit first. #12 Griffin Roberts hit an infield to Shortstop Mason Montoya who mishandled the ball, allowing the Wolverine to get to 1st safely. This was followed up by Jackson Kahl hitting a grounder up towards 1st base where Montell Jordan threw out the runner at second but no one for the cover on 1st. Kahl was able to steal second on a wild pitch by Sudweeks and then stole third base. With a man in scoring position for Truckee, Kyler Sudweeks blew a pitch by Tyler Lamperti (#22) to strike him out and strand the runner at third.
Bulldogs went into the bottom of first with two Flyballs hit by Bryce Intagliata and Stratton Waite being caught by the outfielders. With 2 outs, Kurt Felix walks and then Kyler Sudweeks hits a nice hit that looks like will drop, but Truckee makes a diving catch to end the first inning with no score.
Sudweeks went on a strikeout rampage as he struck out two more to have 4 strikeouts. However, an error on a dropped ball by 1st baseman Jordan allowed a person on base as well as another error by SS Montoya on the mishandling of the ball allowing two on base, but Sudweeks closes out the inning with his 4th strikeout.
Virgin Valley’s offense kicks in during the bottom of the second with Mason Montoya hitting a single. Jared Jensen goes down swinging for one out. Aiden Litzenberger hits an infield single to put two on base (1st/2nd). This allows Drake Wakefield to nail a deep triple, scoring 2 RBIs. Montell Jordan follows up with a sacrifice fly allowing Wakefiled to score, on a very close call “safe” that led to arguments from Truckee. Score 3-0. Stratton Waite gets walked and Intagliata hits a ball and beats the throw to first but Waite gets caught going home on the same play to end the second inning.
Truckee comes in trying to get some offense going as they get a triple from Griffin Roberts with 1 out. Sudweeks gets in a jam by hitting the batter with a pitch and then walked two in a row to load up the bases with 2 outs. This allowed #10, Dylan Sumner, to hit a double, scoring 2 after one scored after stealing 2 bases. Score 3-3.
Kurt Felix and Sudweeks both hit ground balls and were thrown out in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Mason Montoya hits a ground ball along 1st baseline and outruns the defense to make it to first safely. Jared Jensen hits a single to have runners on first and second. Litzenberger nails a hard direct hit at the pitcher which gets into centerfield, scoring Montoya. Followed by Wakefiled flying out to Right Filed for the third out. Bulldogs up 4-3.
Sudweeks strikes out his 7th hitter, Ethan Ariza and then Stratton Waite catches two flyballs into Center Field for 1,2,3 outs. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Bulldogs put two on base off Intagliata and Felix singles, but Sudweeks hits a fly ball that would have dropped for a base hit if it was not for a 6’6″ shortstop who caught it for a 3rd out.
With two out and Tyler Lamperti at second base for Truckee, Kurt Felix behind the plate makes a masterful throw to third and throws out Lamperti who tried to steal third for the third out. In the bottom of the fifth inning with one out, Truckee makes its 8th error as the Centerfielder drops a hit in the air to him. This allows Jared Jensen to get to second base. Litzenberger hits another single and then another error with the throw home by Truckee allowed Jensen to score. Wakefield records another RBI as he hits a good solid single. VVHS Heach Coach Dan Wright puts in a designated hitter Chandon Jensen who hits a single down the left line, then a well-executed bunt by Stratton Wait loaded the bases.
This set up Bryce Intagliata who hits a well-placed deep hit into Left-Center field, allowing three to score. Intagliata gets caught in between 2nd and 3rd and after a little pickleball play was tagged out. Still, only two out, Felix gets walked and replaced by Pinch Runner Matt Hughes. Kyler Sudweeks hits an infield single and is replaced by Pinch Runner Gavin Hughes. #7 Wolverine, Jackson Kahl takes the mound and gets Montoya to hit a flyball caught in the outfield to end the Bulldogs’ offensive storm.
Sudweeks walks #29 Matt Tanner and gets taken out as he is near his pitch count with 105 pitches in the tournament. Bryce Intagliata replaces him on the mound as Cameron Perkins moves into the #10 spot on the line-up. Intagliata strikes out two to move into the bottom of the 6th inning with the score 9-3.
Wakefield records another hit as he ends on first and moves one onto the second base. Truckee’s Kahl walks Jordan to load bases and then walks Stratton to allow a score. Truckee Head Coach JR Murphy calls timeout and takes Kahl out. Kahl throws a tantrum and has to be held back by teammates as the umpire warns the Truckee coach. #5 Sam Purgason replaces him. VVHS is ahead 10-3.
Intagliata gets walked, scoring another one. Then Kyler Sudweeks gets hit by the pitch resulting in another score for the Bulldogs, resulting in being one run away from the mercy rule coming into play. Montoya grounds out to third for third out, keeping hopes alive for Truckee, but slim hopes as they are down 9 runs, 12-3.
The Wolverines showed why they are in the Championship as they put the last push scoring 3 off 3 Base on Balls by Intagliata and two errors by the Bulldogs at third base. However, Intagliata settled down and struck out the last two, catching the last one looking as the pitch smoked by catching the corner of the plate, sealing the win and title of “Best in Nevada for 3A”.
Truckee dropped to 25-9 for the season while Bulldogs end the season 26-5, a 17-game win streak, and going undefeated in League, Regional Tournament, and State Tournament Play.
Congratulations to the Virgin Valley High School Baseball Bulldogs, NIAA 3A State Champions!
More information and pictures to follow in another article when data is recorded.