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1A STATE: Davis fans 15 as Knights win opener

RENO — Emitt Davis couldn’t contain his smile.

The junior right-hander had a good reason to grin.

Davis fired a four-hitter and struck out 15 as Round Mountain defeated Virginia City 3-1 in the Class 1A state tournament at UNR’s Peccole Park on Thursday.

“I’ve never been to state, so this is my favorite feeling for baseball right now,” Davis said. “It’s amazing.”

So was Davis. After allowing a run on a wild pitch in the first inning, he struck out eight in the next three innings. Davis finished with one walk.

“He threw the ball well,” Round Mountain coach Jake Topholm said. “I thought he located the ball well and his curveball worked real well for him today. That’s the best game he’s pitched all year.”

The Knights (14-10) play Pahranagat Valley (14-9) at 10 a.m. Friday at Bishop Manogue. Virginia City (16-11-1) plays Carlin (18-8) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Friday at Manogue. The winner of that game plays the loser of the Pahranagat-Round Mountain game at 4 p.m.

Round Mountain broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the third. Trace Millard led off with a single up the middle and stole second. After he stole second with one out, Davis was intentionally walked. Davis was forced at second on a grounder to third by Serjio Chavez, and Dusti Shank lined an RBI single to left to break the tie.

The Knights added a run in the seventh when Carlos Chavez came home on a double steal.

Davis struck out six batters looking, and five of the strikeouts came on his breaking ball.

“A lot of them didn’t really expect how hard my curveball broke today,” Davis said. “I felt good with it today.”

Pahranagat Valley beat Round Mountain 11-3 for the Southern League title, but Topholm expects a closer game Friday.

“We’ll be different now,” Topholm said. “I’ve still got my No. 2 kid, Serjio (Chavez), and he throws the ball just about as good as Emitt. We’re a different team this week with who we’ve got on the mound.”

Serjio Chavez was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Round Mountain, which left 10 runners on base.

“We did leave a lot of kids on base, that’s for sure,” Topholm said. “We just couldn’t come up with that big hit. But they did what we needed to do to win.”

Pahranagat Valley 10, Carlin 3 — Pahranagat Valley’s last two state baseball championship runs have started with Kade Wadsworth on the mound.

The senior right-hander turned in another strong performance as the Panthers look to make it three Class 1A titles in a row.

Wadsworth allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out 14 as the Panthers beat the Railroaders.

“The last two years we’ve always thrown him the first game at state,” Pahranagat Valley coach Brad Loveday said. “It’s just huge to get that first game.”

Wadsworth retired the first 11 batters he faced, eight by strikeout. But Carlin’s Robert Kitts reached on an error with two outs to extend the fourth inning. Wadsworth walked the next batter, and then gave up a bloop single to center to score Kitts to cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-1.

“He was dominant early,” Loveday said. “We made an error at second base and it kind of stretched that inning out and he had to throw quite a bit more pitches. It effects you as the game goes on when you have to throw those extra pitches.”

Carlin got a leadoff double from Jacob Burris-Blaine to start the sixth, and the Railroaders followed that with a triple by Kitts and a bloop double by Ryan Gambel to cut the lead to 8-3.

But Wadsworth got two strikeouts and picked a runner off second to get out of the inning.

“He buckled down when it came time, like he always does,” Loveday said. “He’s a great pitcher.”

Freshman Paden Higbee was 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Pahranagat Valley offense.

“It’s a great feeling,” Wadsworth said. “You always want to win your first game. If you don’t win your first game, you go into the losers’ bracket and it’s tough to get through the championship game after that.”

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