The 2020 Pershing County baseball team: From left to right back row:  Coach Jesse Canchola, Coach Jared Jensen, Josie Crim (manager), Sam Gonzalez, Luis Gonzalez, Wyatt Diaz, Noel Zaldivar, Blake Barter, Jordan Gentry, Tim Fecht, Logan Oberman, coach Russell Fecht, head coach Will Barter. Front row: Seth Provstgaard, Blake Burrows, Saul Valtierra, Sebastien Donaldson and Tristian Gallagher.
The 2020 Pershing County baseball team: From left to right back row: Coach Jesse Canchola, Coach Jared Jensen, Josie Crim (manager), Sam Gonzalez, Luis Gonzalez, Wyatt Diaz, Noel Zaldivar, Blake Barter, Jordan Gentry, Tim Fecht, Logan Oberman, coach Russell Fecht, head coach Will Barter. Front row: Seth Provstgaard, Blake Burrows, Saul Valtierra, Sebastien Donaldson and Tristian Gallagher.
The Pershing County High School baseball team never expected its season to end after only two weeks. However, life and the coronavirus threw the boys a curveball. As of Monday, the NIAA suspended spring sports. 

This past weekend the Mustangs squeezed in one last tripleheader before the axe fell. Pershing County hosted White Pine on Friday and Saturday. 

The Mustangs lost both games of Friday’s doubleheader under sunny Lovelock skies (20-10, 28-1). 

On Saturday morning, White Pine toppled Pershing 17-0, as 20 mph winds kicked up the dust and spectators huddled under blankets. Then it was over; for how long is anyone’s guess.

Assistant coach Jared Jensen hopes the break is short. “I have way too much fun with these kids,” he said. Head coach Will Barter, Jesse Canchola and Russell Fecht agreed.

White Pine jumped out early in all three games. Its roster included 10 seniors and a few juniors, while Pershing County is a younger team. The lopsided scores reflected the power of experience.

In the opener, Pershing County’s Seth Provestgard, Wyatt Diaz, Tim Fecht and Jordan Gentry fought back with a big fourth inning powered by multiple RBIs. They racked up five runs. 

The second game was the highlight of the series. Offensively, Pershing County scored nine runs in three innings. Saul Valtierra went 2-for-2 at the plate.

Defensively, Blake Barter struck out eight batters in the same three innings. Wyatt Diaz caught for Pershing County through the weekend, a new role for the PCHS freshman who hopes to be a pilot one day.

However, it wasn’t enough to knock down the boys from Ely. According to the coaches, the scoreboard tells only part of the story.

“The Mustangs show flashes of what the future can hold,” said Canchola, noting that in the second game, the boys were down 18-1 but fought back to 20-10 by the end. 

“Our fielding was better on Friday. Saturday, our batting and pitching improved, but fielding was worse. Consistency in all three phases of the game is key,” he added.

In addition to pitting themselves against one of the top teams in the 2A, on Saturday, Pershing County fought another foe – the wind. The combo proved too much.

Coach Jensen encourages the players to take advantage of the wind, harnessing each gust to amp up their efforts. 

Northern Nevada kids learn to play the wind from the time they swing their first tetherball. 

“But we have kids who never played in wind like that,” said Jensen.

A loyal home crowd cheered for boys in red and white. 

The Mustangs are famous for playing with heart and good sportsmanship, no matter the score. Lovelock will miss them.

The team’s freshmen outfieldiers included Noel Zaldivar, Seth Provestgaard and Blake Burrows. Freshman Wyatt Diaz caught and pitched. Burrows also threw. 

Tim Fecht, Blake Barter, Luis Gonzalez, Jordan Gentry and Logan Oberman represented the juniors. Sam Gonzalez, Sebastien Donaldson and Saul Valtierra graduate this spring.

“Once we resume, we’ll get back to work, get better and gain the confidence to compete,” said Canchola.