Baseball, softball teams playing for state titles
The Galena and Dayton High baseball teams have been here before, so they obviously feel this could be there time to win it all.
Meanwhile the Fernley High softball team likes its chances to break through and win a state title with an experienced group. And the Silver Stage High baseball team has made history, winning its first ever Northern 2A regular season and zone titles in any sport to advance to state.
Silver Stage’s baseball team will be joined by its softball club at state as well. Here’s a look at how all the local teams stack up at state:
DAYTON VS. PAHRUMP VALLEY, 4 P.M. TODAY AT FAITH LUTHERAN
The Dust Devils return an experienced group from last year’s team that advanced to the NIAA 3A State Championships. Dayton also returns its top two pitchers in Joe Delaski and Cory Yoder.
Dayton coach Craig Miller said he didn’t know who he would start today against Pahrump, Delaski or Yoder. In league and zone over the last two years, Yoder has gone 15-0 while Delaski has gone 12-2.
Miller said a lot will depend on which pitcher could possible come back on two days rest and throw a few innings on Saturday if needed. “They’re both quality pitchers,” Miller said.
And Miller stressed his first concern is Pahrump. “The last couple of weeks of the season they’ve played really well,” Miller said. “We can’t take them lightly because they have made it this far.”
The Dust Devils’ starting lineup consists of freshman right fielder Tim Doyle, who has done an ouststanding job in the leadoff spot; C Ryan Ransdell, 2B Rory Torvik; 3B Ryan Shepherd; SS Tom O’Brien; and CF Brandon Aguilera.
Delaski or Yoder starts in left depending on who pitches. Shepherd is also a solid No. 3 pitcher. In Thursday’s other matchup, Spring Creek will play Faith Lutheran.
GALENA VS. BISHOP GORMAN, 3 P.M. TODAY AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN NEVADA
The Grizzlies are now ranked 25th in the nation by Baseball America, but should have its hands full with two outstanding teams from the South in Bishop Gorman and Green Valley. Green Valley will play Arbor View in the other matchup.
Galena lost to Gorman 5-3 in last year’s NIAA 4A State event. “They’re the team to beat,” said Galena coach Gary McNamara about the defending state champion.
Like Galena, Gorman has a strong nucleus returning. “I was impressed with the team they had last year,” McNamara said. “They do a lot of things similar to us.
“It doesn’t matter if we play them first, second, third, I could care less. Our goal is to win a state championship and we’ve got to beat all of them anyway.”
McNamara said Eric Maupin, Jacob Anderson or Tony Thompson could all receive the start on the mound against Gorman.
“I have three guys who are all the same,” McNamara said. “No matter who we throw we still have the same chance.”
McNamara said his team was helped by last week’s hard-earned 8-5 win over Douglas for the Northern 4A title. He said even though it’s the same players, he knows now his team has better character.
“It was one of those games where we had to keep responding,” McNamara said. “This team we have this year would have beat the team last year 10 out of 10 times.”
Galena’s starting lineup consists of C Basim Azzam; 1B Maupin or Thompson; 2B J.D. Peters, who led Galena offensively in the High Desert League; SS Pete Lazzari; 3B Jake Hess or Thompson; CF Anderson; OF/DH Ryan Howsley; DH Cory Metoyer; LF Matt Evans.
Evans, Galena’s No. 9 hitter, belted a two-run home run that provided the 8-5 margin against Douglas. “From a coach’s standpoint, I’m totall comfortable one through nine,” McNamara said.
Evans is also the team’s No. 4 pitcher and Levi Stafford could see time on the mound as well.
SILVER STAGE VS. LINCOLN COUNTY, 11:30 A.M. FRIDAY AT NEEDLES
“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Silver Stage coach Todd Buchan about his team winning the school’s first Northern 2A titles.
“We’re all very excited that we’ve been able to accomplish this. To get to state is going to be a wonderful experience. We have a scrappy group of kids who don’t want to quit.”
If Silver Stage beats Lincoln County, it could be on another collision course with Lovelock, which plays Needles in the other matchup. Silver Stage has won three of five meetings with Lovelock this season. “Lovelock is phenomenal,” Buchan said.
Silver Stage has three outstanding pitchers in Billy Moss, who’s scheduled to play for the Nevada Bighorns this summer, Zach Clarke and Darren Boone. Buchan said any of them could start against Lincoln County.
Other top players for Silver Stage are 1B Brad Powell; 2B Jesse Fisher; SS Brent Johnson; 3B Moss or Clarke; C Jared Roberts; LF Boone; CF Sean Gress; RF Troy Valeska.
FERNLEY VS. PAHRUMP VALLEY, 7 P.M. AT FAITH LUTHERAN
Fernley finished as the NIAA 3A State runner-up last year to Lowry and both teams have virtually their entire lineups back this year. Lowry will face Boulder City in the other matchup.
But Fernley has received a lift from the return of shortstop Frances Estrada, who was out last year with an injury. “She’s been a big lift,” Fernley coach Diane Chapin said.
Fernley also has more depth on the mound this year. It still has one of the top pitchers around in Heather Mathews. But there’s also Sara Mello and freshman Kayla McCollum, who have both seen extensive action this year.
There’s even Estrada, the team’s No. 2 pitcher as a freshman, and catcher Sev Johnson, who was the team’s No. 2 pitcher last year.
Fernley’s top five hitters in the lineup, Estrada, Johnson, second baseman Jamie King, outfielder Nikole Whitney and Mathews all hit above .500 in the Northern 3A. There’s also outfielders Sam Rambeau and Seandra Beck and first baseman Lynsie Dunn.
Dunn hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday to give Fernley (27-4) the 4-3 win over Dayton that sent the Vaqueros to state.
There’s also third baseman Chelsey Calvin and outfielders Markie Wilder and Annie Lowrey and utility player Erin Castillo. In addition, McCollum can play third.
Fernley can also be encouraged by the fact it has split with Lowry this year, losing 6-2 and winning 11-3.
“There’s a good chance for us this year,” said Chapin about winning state. “They were all there last year and we were without Estrada.”
SILVER STAGE VS. NEEDLES, FRIDAY AT NEEDLES
Among Silver Stage’s top players are pitcher Alicia Merrell and catcher Erica Bonde. Others who have contributed include Ashley Moss, Krystal McGlockin, Annie Beach-Hills, Chelsey Tromerhouser, Samantha Bader, Kayla Reitnauer, Veronica Soto and Krystal Irwin. In the other matchup, Battle Mountain will play Lincoln County.