VIRGINIA CITY – The Wells baseball team made a solid start during the 1A North regional tournament, quickly turning downhill in its next two contests.
Following a first-round win versus Sierra Lutheran, the Leopards were bounced from the tourney with consecutive losses to Smith Valley and Mineral County.
Versus Sierra Lutheran
The Leopards opened the tournament Friday, breezing to an 11-3 victory over Sierra Lutheran.
Wells took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, adding one run in the home half of the second for a 5-0 advantage.
The Falcons plated two runs of the game in the top of the third, but the Leopards put the game on ice with a five-run burst in the bottom of the fourth – tacking on another in the home half of the fifth.
Sierra Lutheran scored its final run in the top of the seventh, but Wells didn’t need to bat – cruising to an 11-3 victory.
Junior Sergio Soriano led the way for the Leopards, batting 3-for-4 with three RBI – scoring three runs of his own.
On the mound, Soriano gave the Leopards six innings of three-hit ball – allowing two runs and striking out seven batters against four walks.
Sophomore Riley Stewart finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a scored a pair of runs, Wells’ other knocks coming from senior Zane Rodriguez (1-for-3, three runs) and junior Miguel Salazar (1-for-3, two RBI).
Versus Smith Valley
In Wells’ second game of the regional tourney, the Leopards may as well have left their bats in the bags – Smith Valley sophomore Taylor Wulfing tossing a no-hitter in an 11-1 rout in five innings.
Smith Valley scored six runs in the bottom of the first, adding three more in the second – taking a 9-0 lead.
Wells’ lone run of the game came on a steal of home by senior Enrique Aguilar, but the Bulldogs answered with two runs in the home half – allowing just a walk in the top of the fifth – Smith Valley blowing out the Leopards 11-1 due to the mercy rule.
Wulfing threw the no-no and went the distance, allowing one-unearned run and no hits over five innings with seven Ks and four walks.
He hit 3-for-4 with a home run, finishing with three RBI and two runs scored.
Sophomore Isaac Rowe also went yard, batting 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run scored.
Versus Mineral County
Against the Serpents, the Leopards could not stave off elimination.
Wells kept Mineral County off the board for two innings, but the Serpents plated the game’s first-two runs in the top of the third, added three in the top of the fourth and opened a 9-0 lead with four runs in the fifth.
The Leopards scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth, senior Brett Rodriguez earning a bases-loaded walk that sent in senior Garrett Carter.
Wells scored its final run of the year in the sixth, Stewart leading off with a base knock and crossing on an RBI single from sophomore Jadon Anderson.
Mineral County advanced to state with a 9-2 victory – ending Wells’ season – the Serpents falling to Smith Valley 3-0 in the regional championship.
Brett Rodriguez (1-for-3) and Anderson (1-for-3) accounted for the Leopards’ lone RBI with one apiece, and senior Enrique Aguilar notched the only multi-hit effort – finishing 2-for-3.
Carter (1-for-2) and Stewart (1-for-3) scored Wells’ only runs, each crossing once.
Wells finished the tourney without an extra-base knock in three games.
In the loss, Zane Rodriguez allowed just two-earned runs (seven total) on eight hits over four innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
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