Christian Higbee did it both at the plate and on the mound for Pahranagat Valley on Tuesday in the first game of a non-league doubleheader game with visiting Virgin Valley.
The junior was 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs plus tossing a five-inning two-hitter to lead the Panthers past the Bulldogs 17-2.
Ike Taylor was 1-for-2 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs for Pahranagat as well.
Higbee was in control on the mound, as he allowed just two earned runs, walked three and struck out four during his five innings of work.
Eleven runs in the first three innings helped the Panthers blow out the Bulldogs early. Back- to-back triples by Tabor Maxwell and Higbee, then a sacrifice fly by Garett Higbee in the first inning followed, and a two-run triple by Ike Taylor, a groundout by Shawn Wadsworth and an RBI single by Higbee in the second inning supplied the early offense for the Panthers .
Easton Jensen was the starting pitcher for Virgin Valley, but the Panther onslaught bounced him after just one-third of an inning. He walked one, struck out none and allowed three runs.
The Bulldogs (3-11) got two runs in the top of the third after Cade Anderson was safe on a fielder’s choice and Higbee walked Jensen. Two singles by Jayden Perkins and Jairo Vallejos brought home the team’s only two runs of the game.
It didn’t take long for the Panthers to respond as they scored four runs of their own in the third. The Panthers scored on an RBI single by Wadsworth and a wild pitch.
PVHS added six more runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead even further and the game was over on the 10-run rule on Wadsworth’s fine full-out diving catch of a foul ball behind the plate.
The second game, a JV affair in essence, Duston Stewart had a double, five RBIs, including a dramatic game ending grand slam to give PVHS a thrilling 11-7 win.
The lead had changed six times going into the bottom of the fifth.
Trailing 7-5 at that point, the Panthers (9-3) managed to score two runs and have the bases loaded with two outs.
On a 3-2 count, Stewart connected for a deep shot toward the left field scoreboard and over the fence for the game winning grand slam.
Last weekend, In their first baseball games in school history on the California coast, Pahranagat Valley jumped out to an early lead on Ojai Valley and captured a 16-7 victory on April 1.
With 13 runs in the first three innings, the Panthers left no doubt about the eventual outcome.
An error and an RBI triple by Garrett Higbee during the first inning and a wild pitch, an RBI single by Ike Taylor, an error, and a two-run single by Duston Stewart in the second inning fueled the Panthers’ offense early.
The teams traded runs for most of the contest, leading to five lead changes in the game.
Tabor Maxwell racked up three RBIs on four hits for the Panthers.
Pitcher Christian Higbee allowed seven runs over five innings, but still recorded the victory. He struck out eight, walked six and surrendered four hits.
Satoshi Suzuki was the game’s losing pitcher. He allowed 13 runs in three innings, walked three and struck out none.
The top of the first saw the Panthers take an early lead, 2-0. Taylor kicked things off for the Panthers with a single. More runs came home for the Panthers when.
It didn’t take long for Ojai Valley (0-4) to respond as it scored three runs of its own in the first. They scored on an RBI double by Warren Whitsitt, a groundout by Nolan Colborn, and an RBI single by Nick Dorrepal.
But the Panthers added six more runs in the top of the third. A clutch error scored Tyson Jorgensen to open the scoring in the frame. That was followed up by Maxwell’s two-run single, bringing home both Brandon Burris and Taylor.
The Panthers tacked on another two runs in the fifth. Brendan Stewart started things off with a single which scored Asher Haworth.
Coach Brad Loveday said it was “one of those games where you get to play everybody on the roster.”
On Saturday, the Panthers fell to The Cate School 5-0 at Santa Barbara.
Loveday said Cate is a private school, larger than Pahranagat (7-3), similar to Division III in Nevada, like Lincoln, Virgin Valley, The Meadows and Mountain View.
The game saw good pitching too, Loveday said, between Maxwell for Alamo and Jake for the Rams. Jake pitched seven shutout innings, striking out eight, walking one and surrendered four hits. Meanwhile, Maxwell walked three, struck out six, and allowed five runs. And both teams committed two errors.
The Rams (3-3) took the lead for good in the second, scoring one run on an RBI double by Strong. Plus they also benefited from a pair of two-run rallies, one in the fourth inning and the sixth. In the fourth, Pahranagat got men in scoring position several times, but Loveday said Cate “pitched really well and played good defense. They’re a solid team. They played well and beat us. But overall, it was a good trip. A chance to go see teams you have not played before.”
The team took time to go to the beach one day, and to a nearby wildlife preserve, “and saw the seals,” he said.
Even though both Pahranagat baseball and softball teams were in the same general area for the weekend, Loveday said the two groups did not see one another.
Pahranagat is playing at Western (1-7) in Las Vegas today, and begin league play on Tuesday hosting winless Sandy Valley.