Las Vegas High had its chances to advance to the winners bracket final of the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
But the Wildcats couldn’t get a clutch hit against Reno.
Reno’s Lane Oliphant went 1-for-1 with three RBIs as the Huskies defeated the Wildcats 8-4 on Wednesday at Bishop Gorman. Las Vegas defeated Basic 2-0 earlier in the day to advance to face the Huskies, who had a first-round bye.
“We let a couple mistakes affect us in the second game,” Las Vegas coach Sam Thomas said. “We competed, we fought, but we didn’t get the big hit when we needed it. We had a few mental breakdowns, and I think that is what caused it. But that was a good team. (Reno) executed and did what they had to do. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The missed opportunities started in the first inning when the Wildcats left two runners stranded.
Reno (30-5) took a 1-0 lead on Oliphant’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.
The Wildcats (28-10) tied the score in the fourth inning when Leonel Anaya doubled and scored on Jose Martinez’s single. Las Vegas then loaded the bases, but a base-running error took away a chance for a bigger inning.
“We had good opportunities,” Thomas said. “We were one big hit away from taking control of the game. It just didn’t happen that way.”
Reno took a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, scoring three runs on singles by Coleman Schmidt and Garrett Damico, and added one run in the fifth for a 5-1 lead.
Martinez’s second RBI single and Layne Adaro’s run-scoring single cut Reno’s lead to 5-3 in the sixth.
“I’m proud of these guys all year long,” Thomas said. “That’s one thing, they don’t quit. We have always been one big hit away from taking charge again. But tonight, it just didn’t happen.”
Reno scored three in the sixth to take an 8-3 lead.
Las Vegas mounted one final rally, scoring on Martin Simmons’ RBI double and loading the bases with two outs before losing.
Simmons finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI, and Anaya was 2-for-4 with a double.
Las Vegas won its first game, getting a four-hit shutout from Daniel Jimenez against Basic.
The Wildcats will face Bishop Manogue (23-13) in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Thursday at Las Vegas Ballpark. The winner will play at 7 p.m. against the Basic-Arbor View winner.
“We need to attack good pitches,” Thomas said. “I thought we had some good at-bats in the second game. I thought we had better at-bats in the second game than we did in the first game. I hope we get a good night’s sleep, and we come out and our bats are awake, too.”