By the time you read this Thursday morning, the Boulder City baseball and softball teams may have already clinched berths to the four-team 1-A state tournament next week.
The Eagles baseball team (21-7) played Faith Lutheran (23-8) Wednesday night in the finals of the winner’s bracket, while the Lady Eagles (27-7) faced Chaparral (20-12-1).
Both games, and the rest of the 1A Southern Region tournament will be played at Faith Lutheran, 2015 S. Hualapai Way in Las Vegas.
The winners will play again Friday in the championship final of the double-elimination tournament. The baseball championship is at 4 p.m.; the softball finals are at 5 p.m.
The losers will play in the loser’s bracket finals at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The winner of the loser’s bracket final earns the region’s second berth to the state tournament, and will have to win two games Friday to win the region championship.
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The Eagles, who went unbeaten in Sunrise League play, reached the winner’s bracket final with two home wins: Monday’s 7-2 victory against Cheyenne, and an 11-5 win Tuesday against Chaparral.
On Monday, freshman Peyton Koopman surrendered no earned runs on four hits, striking out five and walking one in six innings. Koopman also went 2-for-3 with a triple, a run and a run batted in from the plate.
Senior Tanner Howell was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, but senior Corbett Fleming scored the game’s first two runs and stole four bases.
With the Eagles leading 1-0 in the fifth, Fleming led off with a single, stealing second and third, then scoring on a Howell sacrifice fly. Boulder City scored three more runs in the inning and two in the sixth to put the game away.
On Tuesday, Howell surrendered two hits, struck out six and walked one over three innings as the Eagles built a 9-0 lead.
Coach Bobby Reese pulled Howell and brought in senior D.J. Koopman and junior Mario Castanon to pitch the last four innings.
Under Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association rules, baseball pitchers can’t throw more than 11 innings in five. For the team’s top two pitchers, Howell is available for eight more innings going into Wednesday night’s game; Koopman is available for five.
Reese said he will try to avoid using Howell on Wednesday, probably saving him for the loser’s bracket final if needed to make state.
“He won’t (pitch Wednesday) because his arm will be sore,” Reese said. “He only pitched 50 today, so that’s why we got him off. He’ll be ready for Thursday if we need him.”
Senior Tino Ragone went 3-for-3 with a run and RBI, and Fleming drove in three runs, scored twice and stole another base.
The path to the league title, and possibly the state championship, will likely be through Faith Lutheran, a team that beat the Eagles 21-3 in Boulder City’s home opener March 13.
Howell said the team has come together since that game and is different now.
“It was early in the season but we’ve gotten way better since then,” he said. “We were nervous for the first home game. Now Faith hopefully thinks, ‘Oh gosh, we just killed them.’ ”
The Lady Eagles softball team is seeking its fifth straight trip to the state tournament and its first Southern Region title under the newly expanded 13-team region.
On Monday, sophomore Mikaela Brown threw a one-hitter in Boulder City’s 14-1 win against visiting Mojave in five innings. Brown hit a two-run home run, and the team got doubles from sophomore Kinsey Smyth and senior Taylor Stancliff.
Brown was back on the mound Tuesday for the team’s 11-1 win against Cheyenne in six innings.
Senior Jessica Holling went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double, and freshman Charlene Masterson was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
Logan leads golf regionals
Sophomore Luke Logan held a six-stroke lead entering Wednesday’s final round of the two-day 1-A Southern Region boys golf finals.
Logan shot a 1-under par 71 Tuesday at the local Municipal Golf Course, leading senior T.J. Hatfield who shot a 77 for second.
Boulder City led the team competition with a 405 score. Faith Lutheran carded a 409 and Pahrump Valley is third at 478.
Junior Kyle Effertz was seventh with 83, senior Tyler Barton tied for ninth with 84, and sophomore Christian Hudleson was 15th with a 90.
Junior Marcus Walker’s 91 did not count toward the team’s overall score.
The final round was played Wednesday at Mountain Falls in Pahrump, but the results were not available by deadline.
All three teams and top five individuals from nonqualifying teams will compete in the 1-A state tournament May 14-15 at Sierra Sage in Reno.