It wasn’t the first shutout of his career, but it was a real good effort as Pahranagat Valley’s junior pitcher Tabor Maxwell threw a 7-0 shutout at the Western Warriors in a seven inning non-league game in Las Vegas. It was the first time since at least 2005 the teams have played each other.
Maxwell racked up 12 strikeouts in the Panthers win, gave up just one hit and walked one.
“He was just throwing strike after strike,” said coach Brad Loveday. “His fastball was good, and he was hitting the locations with his curveball.” The box score showed 62 of his 91 total pitches (68 percent) were strikes.
Maxwell allowed only two baserunners, but Loveday said Panther catcher Shawn Wadsworth threw both runners out trying to steal second.
Meanwhile, PVHS was getting nine hits of their own, including two extra base hits. They scored three runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Cody Stirling, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Shawn Wadsworth.
Wadsworth reached base three times in the game, scoring one run and had one RBI.
Armando Marrero pitched for Western (1-9), taking a loss. He lasted just 3 and 1/3 innings, walked four, struck out two, and allowed five runs.
The Panthers brought home one run in the third inning, and matched that run total in the fourth. In the third, Pahranagat scored on an RBI single by Brendan Stewart which brought home Christian Higbee.
The second game was with the Western JV, and Alamo, using a lot of their younger players too, exploded for 12 runs in the top of the third inning to shorten the game to only three innings and a 19-3 win.
An RBI single by Garett Higbee and a groundout by Asher Haworth during the first inning and a three-run double by Higbee, an error and an RBI double by Haworth in the second inning fueled the Panthers’ offense early. Higbee racked up five RBIs on two hits for Pahranagat.
Freshman Brendan Stewart was on the mound for the Panthers and took the win. He allowed three runs over three innings, struck out four, walked none and allowed five hits to Western batters.
Gonzalo Lopez took the loss for Western JV. He allowed 19 runs in three innings, walked six and struck out six.
Western answered the Panthers’ opening inning with two runs of its own in the first, scoring scored on an RBI single by Lopez and an error.
The Panthers had a huge third inning, scoring 12 runs. The inning got off to a hot start when Stockton Maxwell singled, bringing home Tyson Jorgensen. That was followed up by Haworth’s single that scored Maxwell and Higbee.
League play began this week for PVHS. They faced Sandy Valley in a doubleheader on Thursday, and play Lincoln County, Division III league leader, on Tuesday in Alamo..
In league play, Loveday said he expects Indian Springs to be a decent team. The Thunderbirds lost out to Tonopah in the regional semifinals in Alamo last year. But in 2014, they did knock Pahranagat out of the state tournament before losing themselves to Wells in a semifinal game.
As the league season is now underway this weekend, for Pahranagat Valley baseball, having started with Sandy Valley yesterday, the team is looking for yet another good season and a spot in the regional finals and a seventh consecutive appearance in the state tournament, to be in Reno this year.
Through their game with Western, the Panthers have an 10-3 record, a team batting average of .329, scored 150 runs, been walked 18 times and struck out 64 times.
As expected, juniors Christian Higbee and Tabor Maxwell were leading the team in hitting. Through 13 games, Higbee was batting .444; Maxwell .455, and Ike Taylor is right there too, at .429.
Higbee has 16 hits and Maxwell 15, and both have only struck out twice. Taylor has 12 hits and has struck out three times. However, Taylor has been walked the most of any Panther player, getting a pass so far 11 times.
In pitching, Higbee has worked 20.1 innings, allowed 28 hits and 32 runs (5.164 ERA), struck out 25 and walked 15. Maxwell has worked 23 innings, given up 13 runs on 10 hits (3.043 ERA), struck out 37 and walked nine.
PVHS was 21-4 last year, 6-0 in league. In the four-team Southern Division, as Round Mountain, Tonopah, Beatty and Spring Mountain are in the Central Division, league play goes by very fast. Remaining for the Panthers this year before the playoffs, are games with Beaver Dam April 29 and at Indian Springs May 6.
Loveday said the Southern Division regional tournament will again be held in Alamo this year May 12-14, with the state tournament in Reno May 19-21.
The Panthers are both the two-time defending league and tournament champions.
Their last state championship was 2013 when they completed a Division IV state record four-in-a-row.
Another interesting note, at times in varsity games, PVHS might have the three Maxwell brothers on the field at the same time. Tabor either pitching or in the infield, with freshman Stockton handling second base and sophomore Brodey in the outfield.