Cougars secure second seed for playoffs
LAUGHLIN — After clinching a playoff spot a few weeks ago, the Cougars were playing for seeding in the upcoming NIAA 2A Southern League playoffs.
A home sweep against conference opponent Lake Mead Academy bumped Laughlin from the third seed to second, closing out the regular season.
Laughlin stands at 17-4 overall and 11-3 in the league. The Cougars will play The Meadows School in the first round of the playoffs at Mountain View Christian High School at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Top-seeded Lincoln County faces fourth-seeded Needles in the other first-round game Thursday.
After a 19-14 loss to Indian Springs in a non-conference game last week, head Tony Petrik said the Cougars couldn’t rely on others to take care of their own business regarding playoff seeding.
On Friday, the Cougars did just that, sweeping Lake Mead 10-0 and 14-4 to wrap up the second seed.
The difference between being seeded second and third: Laughlin will be the designated home team in its first-round game against The Meadows.
“The kids played well today, and we came in today hoping for the outcome we got,” Petrik said. “You got to remember Lake Mead was third in the state last year and a lot of people were picking them to make a final four appearance this year. This isn’t a pushover team we played today.”
Tyrell Gonzalez pitched the first game giving up two hits, and had 13 strikeouts in six innings. Diego Trujillo got the starting nod on the mound for the closer, giving up three hits with 10 strikeouts in five innings of work.
“It was a fantastic outing by our pitchers today, and defensively we were solid, only committing one error on the day,” Petrik said.
In the nightcap, Malik Ksouri went 4-for-4 with two singles and two doubles. Benedict Garganera went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and RBI. Trujillo went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, two doubles, a triple, and scored the final run for the Cougars.
“Its playoff time now and the motto now is to win two before you lose two,” Petrik said. “If we do that next week we advance to the final four. That’s our goal every year, get to the final four and win a state championship.”
As for the upcoming game against Meadows Petrik said, “They know what we’ve got and we know what they have so, we’ll go and see what happens.”
2A Southern League
Thursday, May 9
At Mountain View
Game 1 — Laughlin vs. The Meadows, 1 p.m.
Game 2 — Lincoln County vs. Needles, 4 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Game 3 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 4 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 5 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 6 — Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 10 a.m.
Game 7 — Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, if necessary, following conclusion of Game 6