Pirates make key plays to defeat Bulldogs

In a game between two competitive rivals, it came down to making plays and getting a key hit. Moapa Valley’s baseball team was able to come through when it counted most while Virgin Valley could not.

That was the difference as the Pirates were able to record a 5-1 Sunrise Conference victory over the Bulldogs Thursday afternoon at Bulldog Field.

The win keeps Moapa Valley in first place in the conference at 3-0 and improves the Pirates to 11-2 overall. The loss drops Virgin Valley to 1-2 in league play and 8-6 overall.

The Bulldogs, who outhit the Pirates 6-5, committed three costly errors that led to two unearned runs for Moapa Valley. They also left seven runners on base over the final four innings. The Pirates, meanwhile, struggled on the base paths, having four runners either picked off or thrown out trying to advance a base. However, the Pirates did come through when it mattered.

Both starting pitchers – Cade Anderson of Virgin Valley and Jade Marshall of Moapa Valley – threw well. It came down to which team did the little things needed to win.

A fielding error, a late throw to third base on a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly led to an unearned run for the Pirates in the top of the second inning.

Moapa Valley added three more runs in the third starting with a two-out walk to Chase Guesman. Drake Staheli followed with a single, Anthony Cornwall doubled and Daxton Longman singled to increase the Pirate lead to 4-0.

The Pirates added their final run in the fourth on a fielding error, balk and throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.

The Bulldogs, who were no-hit by Marshall through three innings before Jayden Perkins doubled, scored in the bottom of the fourth. Josh Abbott roped a one-out double to left-center and scored on a Layton Woods single.

Virgin Valley threatened in its final three at bats putting two runners on base each inning, but could not drive in any runs.

The Bulldogs will play in the Cowboy Classic next week in Las Vegas during spring break. They will return to conference play on April 17 against Chaparral in Las Vegas.

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