No one knew what to expect Saturday afternoon, March 12 as the Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs baseball team faced off against Moapa Valley High School in the Cactus Classic championship game. The Pirates blew the Bulldogs out of the Dawg Pound with an old fashioned “whupping” as they won 36-0. The Bulldogs had a different ending as they shook off the loss and battled the Pirates evenly for most of the game before losing 6-3. “All the work we have put in is starting to work,” said Bulldog coach Justin Goodsell. “These kids love baseball. We’re a young team but they want to win.”
The Dawgs and Pirates felt each other out for two innings before the Pirates took advantage of three walks, a fielder’s choice and two Bulldog errors to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Marcelo Lara had to relieve starter Koby Smothers who was nursing a shin injury.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an inning opening single by Cade Anderson and two Pirate errors. The Pirates added three runs in the fifth inning increasing their lead to 5-1. A hit batter and two walks contributed to the Pirate rally. The Bulldogs threatened in the sixth but a slick Pirate double play ended the threat.
Two walks and two singles gave the Pirates a 6-1 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The young Bulldogs still had life as they took advantage of a walk and two hit batters to put the final runs of the game on the board. The Dawgs managed only three hits against the Pirate throwers.