Lowry catcher Anthony Hemp dives for a foul ball during Saturday's 3A East semifinal against Dayton in Winnemucca.
Lowry catcher Anthony Hemp dives for a foul ball during Saturday's 3A East semifinal against Dayton in Winnemucca.
The 3A East Regional Baseball Championships got off to a rough start earlier in the week, when Lowry’s first-round opponent, Elko had to pull out of the tournament due to a number of Covid cases. The cases spread throughout the school, forcing the school to shut down.

Then the day of the regional tournament, Mother Nature showed her disapproval, suspending the Churchill County and Spring Creek opening-round game due to rain.  

The rain picked back up Saturday morning, leaving the baseball field a muddy mess. 

Games were scheduled to start at 9 a.m., but the rain and field clean up forced the start of games back to 11 a.m. Eventually the rain stopped (for a while) as games were played until about 7:30 p.m. when the championship game between Churchill County and Dayton was called due to heavy rain and darkness.

“I just need to give a huge shout out to the coaches and the parents that showed up to get the field ready and make any of this possible,” said LHS coach Benny Martinez. “It was amazing that we were able to play with all the weather we had.”

Lowry was originally set to play Elko on Friday, but moved into the semifinals against Dayton on Saturday afternoon. The Buckaroos won two-of-three games for the Dust Devils earlier in the season.  

However, a third win was not in the cards for Lowry, as Dayton’s Tyler Stolfich held the Buckaroos to just two hits, as the Dust Devils won 10-0 in six innings.

“It just wasn’t in the cards for us,” Martinez said. “We had our chances early. We went up against the best pitcher in the league. When we didn’t score in the first two innings, he got momentum and stronger as the game went on.”

Lowry, playing as the road team on its home field, put the first two runners on base in the opening inning. Zach Fernandez and Tristen Schmittel were each hit by a pitch. However, the next three batters were retired to end the rally.

Marcus Montes opened the second inning with a single and reached third base, but Dayton ended the inning, as shortstop Caleb Sumsion went deep between the shortstop and third base hole to throw out Lowry’s Kaden Boyles.

“It was just a great play,” added the coached. “The ball hopped perfectly to him and he made a god throw. We take the lead if he doesn’t make that play.”

The offense dried up after that, as Logan Fettic had the only other Lowry hit that coming in the fourth inning.

Dayton broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning with five runs and tacked on four more in the fifth. The Dust Devils closed out the game with a single run in the sixth inning.

“Love the kids, great team and a great group of seniors and I hate to lose them,” Martinez said.

Montes, a freshman, started for Lowry and took the loss. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits. He struck out nine and walked three. Schmittel closed out the game for Lowry, giving up two runs (none earned on one hit.

Lowry ended the season 6-12.

“It was a rollercoaster of a season,” Martinez said. “We had our ups and downs but I had great kids. It wasn’t the way we wanted to end but we will bounce back.”