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Tough preseason schedule bolsters Eagles’ baseball team

Boulder City head baseball coach Bobby Reese knows what he’s doing during his preseason schedule gauntlet. In order to be the best come May, the Eagles have to play the best in March.

“We play a tough a tough preseason schedule,because we know what we’re going to be up against once we get into early May,” Reese said. “Obviously our goal is to advance far into the postseason and earn another state bid. That’s easier said than done however. It’s our job in March to play the best in order to prepare for the best; wins against weaker teams don’t matter to us.”

What happens when they pick up victories against the best though?

Playing in the Division I loaded Bengal Varsity Tournament this past weekend, the Eagles suffered a setback in their season opener against Liberty, losing 5-3, before picking up what could be their biggest win of the season regardless of a state championship against Arbor View.

A favorite in the Division I to compete for a state championship after making the state tournament a season ago, the Eagles were able to knock off the Aggies 2-1, following a crucial two-run fifth inning courtesy of runs batted in by seniors Nolan Desantis and Alec Mathis.

Desantis batted two-for-three on the day with a double, while Mathis batted one-for-three.

Senior starter Steve Wagner earned the victory, throwing six innings in which he struck out five and allowed just four hits to what is presumed to be the state’s most talented Division I lineup throughout preseason discussions, while junior Steve Mull earned the save in his lone inning of work, striking out a pair of batters while allowing just one hit.

In their game against the Patriots, Wagner used his bat to lead the Eagles, batting one-for-three with a pair of RBIs, while senior starting pitcher Peyton Koopman, despite pitching solidly with only five allowed hits and three runs, was charged with the loss.

“That was a nice rebound win for us,” Reese said. “It proves we can play with anybody in this town. But with that said we need to move on from it. We have to stay mentally into the game. (We) came out the next day dropping one to Legacy, which shows we can get beat just as easily by anyone, too.”

Dropping their next contest to Legacy 8-5 early Saturday morning, the Eagles refueled for their noon game with the Longhorns as part of their double-header, breaking out the heavy sticks for a 17-9 offensive showcase victory.

Junior Kodey Rahr led the way in the Eagles’ final game of the weekend, batting two-for-four with a game-high five RBIs and a double, while junior Preston Van Diest batted four-for-five with three RBIs.

Koopman also batted four-for-five with an RBI, while seniors Desantis (one-for-five), Mathis (one-for-two) and Austin Wishard (two-for-three, two RBIs) all added a double.

Van Diest was awarded his first victory of the season after pitching three innings, in which he struck out four batters in a relief effort.

“This was a very good first week for us,” Reese concluded. “Koopman and Wager pitched great games both deserving an opening season win, while Jake Hubel threw well — but I know he will throw better his next start. Our hitting was strong, but it’s early and we need to get more live at bats. That will come with time.”

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@ gmail.com.

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