BORON • Silver Valley High School didn't have a good day on the diamond on Tuesday.
The Trojans softball and baseball teams fell 7-6 and 13-1 respectively during Desert Mountain League games against Boron. The games had large impacts on the DML playoff race with Silver Valley's and Boron's softball teams entering the contest undefeated in league play and the baseball teams fighting for second and third places.
Both teams started their games solidly with the Lady Trojans leading 3-1 after the first inning while the baseball teams were tied 1-1. However, that was where the similarities between the games stopped.
The Lady Trojans led or were tied with Boron through the sixth inning which they entered leading 4-3. Silver Valley's momentum was stalled and game stolen when the umpires missed a call according to both the Bobcat's coach, Summer Rundblade, and Trojans' coach Kevin Mintun. Boron's Chelsea Lasley hit a ball with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Silver Valley's Kayla Blackmon caught the ball and touched first base apparently ending the inning. Unfortunately Blackmon dropped the ball a few seconds after the play, the umpires didn't watch the play until the drop and called Lasley safe. That set up a four-run inning rally for the Bobcats, that included a two-run home run by Lauren Searcy, that should never have occurred.
Rundblade said that despite the fact that her team would have entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 6-3 instead of leading 7-4 she didn't believe it affected the game. She spent much of the game walking on to the field and getting in the face of the umpires disputing calls.
"There were a bunch of bad calls," Rundblade said. "That was the only one that hurt Silver Valley while we got tons of calls that hurt us. We were out there playing nine vs. 11 it was so bad. I don't think that changed anything. We would have came back in the seventh."
Mintun had a different view of the call, but still thought his team could have held on for a win if it had made a few plays.
"It would have kept the momentum with us, and it was just a wrong decision," Mintun said. "We played solid ball. We played good enough to win, but there were a couple fly balls that we should've caught. If we got those it would've been a totally different game in addition to that call."
The Trojans nearly won the game despite poor officiating and trailing 7-4 in the seventh inning. Blackmon brought Stephanie Mesa home on a single before stealing second, third and home on passed balls and errors to bring the score to 6-4. Deanna Armstrong got on base with a single and was followed by two walks to Kortney Stolz and Isla Sullivan to load the bases. Sunny Harrison came to the plate and battled hitting several foul tips. She eventually loaded the count, but struck out looking on what appeared to be a pitch low and out of the strike zone.
Armstrong pitched a complete game for the Trojans earning nine strikeouts. Kelsey Lopez also pitched a complete game for the Bobcats. She had 15 strikeouts, according to Rundblade.
The Silver Valley baseball team didn't have the back and forth game play or rallies that the Lady Trojans did. The Trojans never scored another run after the first inning and finished with a total of four hits in the game while striking out 15 times in a five inning mercy rule game. Boron's Daniel Lamoureaux pitched a near shutout only allowing a single run in an inning that included four errors.
"(Our offensive problems) were caused by both (Lamoureaux) hitting his spots and us just not hitting well today," Silver Valley coach Brian Major said. "It doesn't help when you strikeout as much as we did."
The Bobcats didn't face the same problems on offense. They poured on six runs in the sixth inning to pull away from the Trojans for good. Boron got some help from eight Silver Valley errors. The Trojans went through three pitchers in the game including Isaac Hopkins, Josh Hendley and Tomas Yniguez.
"We shot ourselves in the foot all over the field," Major said. "We have a lot of guys that haven't played much baseball and I think they weren't ready to come in and play a big game against a tough team. We'll be ready for them next week, and we don't have time to look back. We have to get ready for Vasquez on Friday."
The Silver Valley baseball and softball teams will take on Vasquez at home at 3 p.m. on Friday.