Remembering the time he heard about Pahranagat Valley trying to execute a suicide squeeze in a game, Jordon Cryts laid the bunt down perfectly and brought home Christian Higbee from third base with the go-ahead run in the sixth inning giving the Panthers a late push to beat Virgin Valley 4-1 March 27.
Higbee had singled to get on base in the sixth. He then went from second to third on an error.
Tabor Maxwell baffled Virgin Valley on a three-hitter, striking out nine and walking just two over six innings of work. Brandon Burris came on in relief in the seventh inning.
Another very memorable time PVHS attempted a suicide squeeze was in the state championship with Round Mountain in 2013. Batter Caleb Hansen did not see the signal to bunt, and with the runner charging down from third base, Hansen swung away. Fortunately, he lined a single up the middle for the winning run and avoided hitting the runner in the face with the bat.
The Panthers (6-1) took the early lead over Virgin Valley (1-10) in the first inning with a 1-0 lead. Burris kicked things off for the Pahranagat Valley Panthers with a single. A passed ball then moved Burris from first to second. Hansen singled, plating Burris.
“But we were not hitting the ball very well that day,” said Alamo coach Brad Loveday, “and often times the best balls we hit were right at people, but we scrambled enough to get four runs. You have days like that. Tabor pitched well and the defense played well behind him.”
The third inning saw Virgin Valley score its only run on the day on an RBI double by Koby Smothers.
PVHS played a non-league doubleheader on Tuesday at Beatty during Spring Break, and plays another at Lincoln County (10-4) April 7.
Loveday said Indian Springs and Tonopah are expected to pose strong competition to PVHS defending their league championship. Nino Alverez of Indian Springs and Connor Friel of Tonopah, both of whom beat the Panthers in games last year, are back this year.
On Tuesday this week, Christian Higbee threw a one-hit shutout as PVHS routed Beatty 16-0 in non-league play.
The only remaining home games for Pahranagat are with Tonopah and Indian Springs. The Muckers play in Alamo April 21 followed by the Thunderbirds April 24.
And while it is early yet, Loveday thinks defending state champion Virginia City and Whittell are going to the top teams in the North Division.