Bulldogs hold tryouts for 2022 baseball season

By LOU MARTIN

Progress

Spring must be in the air as the words “Batter up!” and “Play ball!” echo through the Virgin Valley. Virgin Valley High School began tryouts for roster spots in baseball and softball on Saturday afternoon, February 19. Tryouts continued until February 24, when the coaches decided who would be on the rosters for the varsity and JV teams.

This year’s varsity Bulldog team will be led by freshman coach Dan Wright, whose staff will consist of Nick Montoya, John Felix, John Hoover and JV coach Nate Porter.

Wright and his staff bring a wealth of experience to Bulldog baseball. Wright was an All-American at Dixie College and a Big 12 starter for Nebraska before ending his career at Southern Utah University. Mesquite Parks and Recreation Director Montoya has been active in all sports in the valley. Hoover from Utah, won six state championships at Pleasant Grove and Cottonwood High Schools before moving to Mesquite. Félix has been active in all Bulldogs sports training.

The Dawgs went 3-5 in the league and 6-7 overall in a shortened season last year. Despite a losing record, the Dawgs finished third in the 2021 Southern Nevada Regionals.

The Bulldogs’ roster includes nine members of last year’s squad, plus two seniors from the 2020 squad and three new members of this year’s squad. The list is made up of three seniors, six juniors and five sophomores.

The Bulldogs will have great depth on the mound with starters Kurt Felix, Bryce Intagliata and Stratton Waite. Short and long relievers will consist of a host of Bulldogs, including Jared Jensen, Martin Jordan, Cameron Wright and Kyler Sudweeks. Senior Joseph Kazek and newcomer Chandon Jensen will be behind the plate. Big man Braden Harris will anchor first base with Sudweeks behind him. The infield will consist of players Jensen, Jordan, Drake Wakefield, Aiden Litzenberger and Matt Hughes. Cameron Perkins, J. Jensen and Waite will roam the outfield.

“We’re going to play Old School Ball,” Dan Wright said. “Nothing fancy, just the basics of fielding, catching and training.”

“I will let my starters go as far as they can because we are entitled to more pitches this year for starters,” added Wright. “We experimented with infielders and power hitters in Sudweeks, Felix and Intagliata. Waite will be our first batter to get us started.

The Bulldogs begin the season in Las Vegas on March 3 against Legacy High School. The Bulldogs’ first home game is at Mountain View High School on March 9. Then they will host the “Cactus Classic” starting Friday, March 10. Games will start at 9 a.m. on Friday.

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