Eureka built a 7-1 lead after two innings at Wells recently, then had to watch as the Leopards chipped away little by little, before hanging on for a 7-6 win. It was the Vandals first win over Wells since 2013, when they split a pair.
Eureka was boosted by Josh Garcia who went 4-for-4 at the plate. The boys took the lead with a run in the first inning, scoring on a stolen base by Garcia. He had singled, was advanced around to third, then stole home.
Wells came back in their first inning with one run as Koltin Anderson uncorked a wild pitch to score Colman Johnny from third base.
The second inning was the big one for the Vandals. They crashed down on the Leopards like an invading horde. Dalton Lopez singled off Erickson Alex driving in Carlin Hooper. Bryson Wells had a two-run triple, Gage Hayward had an RBI single, then Gavin Denshire hit a two-run single.
But the Leopards recovered and kept chipping away, finally creating high drama in the bottom of the seventh inning. The situation: Two on and two outs. Oscar Cacas, who already had one hit in the game, at the plate. The count goes to 2-2 and he sends a ground ball to the shortstop who threw him out at first base to end the game.
Anderson earned the win for Eureka. He went three and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs, four hits and striking out five.
Denshire and Wells each drove in two runs for Eureka. Garcia had six of the 11 stolen bases the Vandals accounted for. But Wells had 17 stolen bases on the day. Casas had four.
The Vandals (10-2, 3-0) remaining games before the playoffs are all at home. They host Mineral County (11-6-1) today for a doubleheader, play White Pine (1-13) in non-league action April 29, then face Wells (7-8, 1-1) again May 6.
The four-team 1A Northern League playoffs are May 12-13 in Smith Valley. The state tournament is May 18-20 in Las Vegas.