Eureka participated in a pre-season tournament at Right of Passage near Yerington last week and gained some valuable playing time and got prepared for the division games ahead.
This past weekend, the Vandals traveled to Smith Valley to play a divisional double-header against the Bulldogs.
Clancy Talbot took the hill for the Vandals in the first game and put on a magical performance. Talbot threw a complete game including a 12 strikeout showcase to keep the Vandals in a closely fought game against Smith Valley. Eureka was down late in the game until Jaiden Hicks drove in three runs with a double in the 5th inning to take a 5-4 lead. Eureka never relinquished the lead and took the first game of the double header 7-4.
The second game of the double-header was another closely fought game. Eureka seemed to pull away from Smith Valley as they built a 6-0 lead early on.
Nick Hornberger was a standout hitter for the Vandals as he totaled three triples on the day and helped the Vandals build their lead.
“The entire batting order performed against Smith Valley which I was very pleased about,” Hicks said.
Gavin Denshire made a big contribution for Eureka’s pitching staff as he came in and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to give the Vandals help in the rotation.
Eureka’s defense was suspect late which almost cost them the game. Going into the last inning, the Vandals led 16-10. Numerous errors and five Smith Valley runs later, the score was tightened to 16-15. A grounder to second baseman Josh Garcia was fielded and thrown to first base to end the game and seal the victory for the Vandals.
The victory gave Eureka a clean sweep of division opponent Smith Valley as they start league play 2-0.
Hicks was very pleased with the sweep of Smith Valley and is looking forward to the rest of the season.
“This is a special team and I believe we can go far this season,” Hicks said. “The kids have come in at 4:30 am some weeks to work on core strength and because they want to win.”
Although the season has started off in a positive fashion for Eureka, Hicks knows that his team has areas to work on in order to achieve their goal of making it to the state tournament.
“We have to work on throwing strikes and do the little things in order to go to state,” Hicks concluded.
Eureka will get to work on improving on the little things this weekend as they travel to Carlin for a division game on Tuesday, March 24. They will then travel to Yerington on March 27 for a non-division game and head on to Whittell the following day for a divisional double- header.