By Kirk Kern
Going into the season, new Virgin Valley High baseball coach knew his team was going to be pretty good.
And after losing their season opener to Legacy, the Bulldogs rattled off seven straight wins. But then came a stretch of games in which Virgin Valley lost four of its next seven games.
That stretch included a 6-2 loss to Boulder City and an 11-0 loss to Pahrump Valley, two of the better 3A Southern Region teams.
That stretch of games turned out to be revelation for the Bulldogs, a dose of adversity that the team rallied around.
“The boys just absolutely came together as a team at that point,” Wright said. “They made a decision to come together to get it done. We had high expectations, but until we went through that tough period, we didn’t really self-examine.”
They didn’t lose a game the rest of the season. Virgin Valley swept through the league season at 10-0, won the 3A Southern Region tournament in four straight and then the 3A State Tournament in three straight.
“Having talent and potential is one thing, but a team decide when it’s going to band together,” Wright said. “The kids did just that, they responded. They really stepped up intensity in practice.”
The Bulldogs rode a strong and deep pitching staff that included left-handers Bryce Intagliata and Kyler Sudweeks along with right handers Stratton Waite and Kurt Felix. Jared Jensen also contributed on the mound, going 6-0 on the season.
“We knew we had four really good arms,” Wright said.
But it wasn’t just the offense. In seven post-season tournament games, the Bulldogs scored in double digits in 10 games, including a 12-6 win over Truckee in the state championship game.
Waite, Intagliata, Felix, Sudweeks, Mason Montoya and Jensen composed the first six in the lineup most of the season, but guys toward the bottom of the order such as Aiden Litzenberger, Drake Wakefield, Martin Jordan, Chandon Jensen, Cameron Perkins and Braden Harris also came through.
“Drake hit .700 in the state tournament and Jordan hit .650,” Wright said. “Chandon Jensen was 2-for-2 in a pinch hitting role, He delivered two big hits for us.”
Besides the state championship on the field, the Bulldogs also earned the All Academic State Championship with a team grade point average of 3.52.
The team only had three seniors in Sudweeks, Perkins and Joey Kazek, so the future is bright for Virgin Valley baseball.