March 12, 2008
SPORTS - BASEBALL
Pirate Baseball Starts Season Strong
OVERTON, Nevada (STPNS) -- By JONATHAN OGLESBY
The Moapa Valley High School Baseball team opened up its Spring 2008 campaign with a star-studded opening weekend at the MVHS Pirate Field. The field, which is in good shape, is expected to host several big games this season and the home team handily christened this year?s field with a string of Pirate victories.
Over the weekend, the Pirates hosted both Western High School and Valley High School, two 4A schools from Las Vegas.
In his pre-season interview, new Head Coach Jim Vallet talked about how his team needed to learn to play better defense while still supporting their strengths in pitching and offensive hitting. Vallet?s Pirates seemed to do this well Saturday as Moapa Valley steam-rolled over Western during the Opening Day affair, beating the Warriors 11-1.
Western opened up the game with an early run. But Moapa Valley scored the next eleven runs as the Pirates scored two runs in the second inning, two runs in the third inning, three runs in the fourth inning,and four runs in the fifth inning.
Bobby Vallet led the Pirates in offensive production with his usual offensive outbursts. His play to open the season was certainly impressive as Vallet led Moapa offensively with three hits and two RBIs for the Pirates.
While the offensive production was certainly welcome, it was the defensive play of the Pirates that led to the victory as Moapa Valley shut out the Warriors for four innings of play. Better defense coupled with a good pitching outing from Dallin Seely, a projected regular season starter, certainly helped the Pirates as Seely and reliever Tyler Williams held Western to two hits in the game.
On Saturday, the Pirates hosted the Valley Vikings in an old-fashioned Saturday double-header. While Friday?s victory keyed off of solid defensive play, it was all about the offense at Pirate Field in the first game. Moapa Valley barely outdueled the Vikings in a 17-14 shootout.
Both the Vikings and the Pirates would score two runs in the first inning but Moapa?s seven run explosion in the third helped propel the Pirates. The Pirate teams was again led by Bobby Vallet who had another good day at the bat. Vallet got four hits and scored four runs for the Pirates. Junior Shaun Hilton drove in four runs for Moapa in the offensive feast of the first game.
The second game wasn?t quite as thrilling from an offensive standpoint. But it delivered in terms of giving the fans exciting baseball.
In this game, freshman Kevin Cardinal got his first win pitching for the Pirates. He led Moapa to a 9-6 victory on the mound. Cardinal and the defense did a good job early, keeping Valley to just two runs in the first three innings. This strong defensive effort set up sophomore Matt Newton who had a very good game offensively as he would get three hits and four RBIs before the day was over.
Overall, the Pirates proved they were certainly an improved team in their three game opening weekend. Moapa Valley scored 34 runs, had 37 hits, and most importantly, only committed five errors against the two 4A schools.
This week, the Pirates will continue their prolonged homestand as they will play Canyon View and the Meadows, two solid baseball teams.
Moapa Valley Baseball will also host the Wood Bat Classic this weekend at Pirate Field with several excellent baseball teams participating including Virgin Valley, Moapa Valley?s Varsity and JV, plus several teams from around the Silver State and Utah.
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