The Southern Nevada Eagles 16U became the first 3A program to win the Connie Mack state championship since the league debuted in 2013 after their 6-0 victory over 4A Shadow Ridge on July 24 at Faith Lutheran High School.
“When they recorded the final out, the boys barely celebrated,” assistant coach Jeff Kinsler said. “It’s like they expected to win and it didn’t faze them. They’ve worked all summer long for that moment. In every aspect of the game they were extremely coachable and worked to get better.”
Collecting 10 hits against the Mustangs, Boulder City jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead, courtesy of RBI singles from Joey Giunta, Ian Mills and Matt Felsenfeld. Giunta finished the game 1-for-2 with two RBIs, while Mills and Felsenfeld each finished 1-for-3.
Deavin Lopez finished 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate, while Blaze Trumble and Clark Newby each finished 2-for-3 in a dominant championship game performance.
“The championship was a matter of not sitting back and thinking a previous blowout win meant anything,” head coach Steve Connell said. “I told the boys Shadow would come out hard. Shadow wasn’t going to give anything for free, they had a lot of pride. Our boys had to go out and take it, and they did.”
Giunta threw six scoreless innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts.
In four state tournament games, Boulder City pitchers allowed only two runs, outscoring opponents (Shadow Ridge 21-1, Slam 10-0 and Las Vegas 9-1) 46-2.
“We knew coming into the tournament that teams were going to give us their best,” Giunta said. “We made sure to play great and carry on the momentum we built up in the regular season. Everyone did a great job of staying focused.”
Picking up wins for the Eagles throughout the tournament were Newby (three strikeouts) against Shadow Ridge, Giunta (nine strikeouts) against Slam and Trumble (two strikeouts) against Las Vegas.
Giunta (8-for-11 with two triples) and Troy Connell (9-for-12 with a triple) each drove in nine runs throughout the four-game slate.
Lopez batted 8-for-11 with four RBIs and two doubles, while Trumble batted 5-for-11 with two RBIs and a double. “Coming from our high school experience, winning the Connie Mack state championship game meant a lot to us,” Lopez said. “Going undefeated took a lot of work but in the end it all paid off.”
The Eagles finished their summer season with a 21-0 record.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.