Stockton Maxwell pitched a masterful 11-0 one-hitter in the opening game of a doubleheader in Alamo April 26, and Jessie Jones completed a come-from-behind 10-9 win in the second game, to give Pahranagat Valley a two-game league action sweep of Indian Springs, the defending 1A state champions.
The wins clinched the Panthers’ first Southern League championship title since 2016.
The four-team Southern Division playoff will be May 9-11 at Indian Springs.
Beatty (6-6, 4-0) and Tonopah (11-4, 4-0) are the main contenders in the Central League. They played each other April 30.
Indian Springs is currently tied with Beaver Dam for second place in the Southern League and will host the Diamondbacks in their final league games May 3.
Maxwell’s one-hit 11-0 shutout of the Thunderbirds in the opener was the first time Indian Springs (10-5, 2-2) had been shut out all season.
As reported by Gamechanger.com, Jones led the Panthers (14-1, 4-0) by driving in five runs. He was 2-for-3 at the plate. He had a three-run triple in the first inning, a single in the second and a groundout in the fourth.
Kobi Fiatoa then followed immediately with an RBI triple, scoring Jones.
Indian Springs’ only bright spot was a double by Lucas Vandever in the second inning.
Maxwell allowed the one hit, surrendered no runs, struck out four and walked none.
Jordan Flamm took the loss for Indian Springs. He pitched four innings, gave up six hits, 11 runs, had six strikeouts and issued nine walks.
PVHS coach Brad Loveday said he felt “this was the best game the boys played all season.”
In the second game, it was the Thunderbirds who took control early, grabbing a 2-1 lead after two innings.
Preston Higbee took over on the mound in relief of Jones in the second inning. Both pitchers gave up runs to the Thunderbirds.
Pahranagat got a run back in the bottom of the second inning on a single by Jalen Leavitt scoring Fiatoa.
Higbee stayed in as pitcher and was rolling along until Indian Springs touched him for four runs in the top of the sixth inning and an 8-1 lead.
Flamm, Isaiah Jones and Patrick Young each drove in runs during the inning.
Flamm had a two-run double, Jones grounded out to second base that allowed Zack Williams to score and Young hit an RBI single.
In the sixth inning, PVHS mounted a two-out rally on relief pitcher Evan Reimer. He gave up a single and two walks, a two-run single to Maxwell, an RBI triple to Higbee, a run-scoring single by Jones and a two-run triple by Cody Hatch to tie the game 8-8.
Indian Springs took the lead back 9-8 in the top of the seventh inning. This meant the Panthers had to score in their last at bat to either lose, win the game or send it to extra innings.
Isaiah Jones replaced Reimer on the mound for the Thunderbirds. With two out and two one, Higbee grounded deep in the hole to second base, allowing Nick Acosta to score the tying run from third base.
Paul Lewis was later thrown out at home plate trying to score the winning run, but the game was tied 9-9 and moved to the eighth inning.
Maxwell was brought back in for the Panthers in the top of the eighth inning. He sat the Thunderbirds down in order.
All the drama of the come-from-behind win came in the bottom the Panther’s eighth inning.
Isaiah Jones walked Jessie Jones and Fiatoa. Hatch hit a single, loading the bases. Fiatoa led off too far from second base and got caught in a rundown between second and third. But the shortstop overthrew third base for the tag, allowing Jones to break for home plate and slide in under the tag with the winning run.
This week, Pahranagat Valley finished the regular season with a non-league game with Lake Mead on Tuesday.
Four runs in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Panthers to a 15-14 win over the Eagles.
Jesse Jones went 5-for-5 with three RBIs to help Pahranagat outlast Lake Mead.
Stockton Maxwell was 4-for-5 with a double for Pahranagat. Bryan White went 3-for-3 with a double and Alan Underwood was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Lake Mead.
Lake Mead (7-10) did have the tying run on second base with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, but pitcher Preston Higbee struck out the final batter.
Sandy Valley canceled their games with the Panthers (15-2, 4-0) on May 3.
The 1A Southern League playoffs will be May 9-11 at Indian Springs.