Dave Maxwell:
Christian Higbee leads a quartet of pitchers into the Pahranagat Valley Invitational in Alamo this weekend. The Panthers, the defending class 1A state champions, host Beaver Dam, Eureka and Tonopah.

Pahranagat Valley opened the baseball season by going 1-3 at the Cactus Classic in Mesquite last weekend.

The Panthers, the defending class 1A state champions, but playing in the tournament against bigger teams, lost games to Elko, San Juan (Blanding, Utah), and Emery, Utah, before taking a 7-0 win over Moapa Valley.  

The boys watched their first game with Elko slip away early and couldn’t recover in a 3-0 loss on Thursday. The Indians scored on a double by Alec Wall and a groundout by Kamren Backherms in the first inning.

Ike Taylor got a single for Pahranagat in the first inning and was 2-2 in the game. Elko pitchers struck out ten and Pahranagat struck out four. The Panthers did not commit a single error in the game.

Friday morning, against Emery (Castle Dale, Utah), in a close game, with Pahranagat leading 1-0, the Spartans exploded for 13 runs in the top of the fifth inning for a 13-1 win. Emery was 5-0 in the Cactus Classic.

Christian Higbee’s two-out single in the first brought home the only run for either team until the fifth.  His was the only hit for PVHS in the game.

Tel Gardner’s two-run double off Garrett Higbee opened the floodgates that inning for Emery. Ike Taylor had gone four innings on the mound before giving way to Higbee who did not have a good outing. He walked six and gave up 10 runs on four hits before being relieved by John Hansen

The second game on Friday was closer, a 5-4 loss to San Juan (Blanding, Utah). In a 4-4 tie, the Broncos rallied in the bottom of the seventh for the winning run.

PVHS lost despite out-hitting San Juan 14-5. Taylor, Tabor Maxwell, Duston Stewart, G. Higbee and Brodey Maxwell each had two hits for Pahranagat Valley.

The game was tied at four in the bottom of the seventh when Eldridge for San Juan singled off T. Maxwell driving in the winning run.

Saturday morning, Stockton Maxwell didn’t allow a single run as the Panthers defeated Moapa 7-0. Maxwell allowed just three hits and induced a fly out from Chase Hadley to end the game. He tossed five innings, allowing no runs, three hits, striking out four, and walking one.

This weekend is the Pahranagat Valley Invitational in Alamo for both baseball and softball. The visiting teams are  Beaver Dam, Eureka, Tonopah and the White Pine JVs.

Action began this morning for PVHS baseball with Beaver Dam, continues this evening against Eureka and Saturday morning against Tonopah.