Indian Springs won their first 1A State Baseball Championship since 1973 with a doubleheader win over Pahranagat Valley at the state tournament on May 19 at North Valleys High in Reno.
The teams played each other three times at state this year, Pahranagat winning the first one, 10-6, and the Thunderbirds taking the final two, 9-1 and 12-2.
Strong hitting propelled Indian Springs (19-5) all season. They hammered out 10 hits in both Saturday games, getting home runs from Wrench Perry in the first game and Dylan Pollock and Bailey Larkin in the deciding game.
Elyas Jones was the winning pitcher for Indian Springs in the 9-1 win. He struck out eight and walked two.
Garrett Higbee started for the Panthers. He gave up five runs and struck out one before being relieved by Hagen Harris and Jacob Frehner.
In the second game, a big six-run third inning was the momentum grabber for the Thunderbirds. Pahranagat had a 2-0 lead, but Indian Springs was off and running and pitcher Pollock didn’t give up anymore Panther runs.
The day before however, in the winner’s bracket semifinal, Pahranagat Valley took a 10-6 win. A 16-hit attack and a big six-run sixth inning gave the boys high confidence for the following day.
Indian Springs got things started in the first inning when Perry singled home Jones.
In the top of the second inning, the Panthers tied things one-all as a two-out, two-on, groundout by Brodey Maxwell scored Jesse Jones on an error at third base.
The Panthers pulled away for good with four runs in the third inning. Stockton Maxwell drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring one run. Jones singled to score another run and Tayt Leavitt’s following single scored Duston Stewart and Maxwell for a 10-3 lead.
The Thunderbirds got three back in the bottom of the inning, but that was as close they would get. They were three up and three down to end the game with relief pitcher G. Higbee striking out the final batter.
The first game of the tournament, May 17, was with Wells, a team the Panthers had beaten twice in the preseason with double-digit scores and they did it again this time as well, 10-4, assisted by a six-run sixth inning.
The rally was led by singles from G. Higbee, S. Maxwell, Leavitt, and a three-run triple by B. Maxwell.
Preston Higbee was the winning pitcher. He went five innings, allowed four runs on four hits, struck out five, and permitted no walks.
Pahranagat Valley (20-8), the two-time defending champion, had praise for the Thunderbird team and their fine season and congratulated them on winning the title ending the long 45-year wait.
Class 1A Honors
Pahranagat Valley and Indian Springs were the only teams to have players named to the All-Southern League First Team honors this year. There were six honors for the Panthers and five for the Thunderbirds.
All-Southern League First Team
P–Dylan Pollock, Indian Springs; Preston Higbee, Pahranagat Valley. C–Garrett Higbee, Pahranagat Valley. 1B–Wrench Perry, Indian Springs. 2B–Isaiah Jones, Indian Springs. SS–Jordan Flamm, Indian Springs. 3B–Stockton Maxwell, Pahranagat Valley. OF–Brodey Maxwell, Pahranagat Valley; Elyas Jones, Indian Springs; Jesse Jones, Pahranagat Valley. UTIL–Duston Stewart, Pahranagat Valley.
P–Adrian Salazar, Beaver Dam. C–Bailey Larkin, Indian Springs. 1B–Brandon Eastham, Sandy Valley. SS–John Hansen, Pahranagat Valley. OF–Zach Reimer, Indian Springs; Cody Hatch, Pahranagat Valley; Ryan Gertz, Indian Springs. Most Valuable Player–Zack Williams, Indian Springs.