Emery baseball fights on in state tournament
The Emery High baseball team did not return home this weekend as 2-A state baseball champions as they had hoped when they traveled to Salt Lake City for the three-day affair but then no one else did either as weather played havoc with the games and the tournament continues this week. Emery, Beaver and Grand are the final three teams standing one will be crowned champion Tuesday afternoon.
Emery was scheduled to play their first game last Thursday morning at eleven but the game did not start till a little after 2:00 p.m. It took that long to make the field playable as the grounds crew did what was necessary to make it happen. Games Friday were completely canceled and then Saturday's games were also delayed to make the field playable. The concluding games will be played this Tuesday at UVU in Orem, a day the forecast says should be dry.
But when the games did finally begin the Emery Spartan team was ready and focused and ended the week by ripping through four different opponents on their way to returning to the championship game. Emery is looking to repeat as state champions and the way they played last week should give hope to every Spartan fan that they can complete the job this week.
Emery started off the tournament play by playing region 15 foe South Sevier. After falling behind 1-0 after three innings, the Emery bats came alive and the Spartans scored ten runs over the next three innings to win the game 10-2. Emery followed up the game by whipping Gunnison Thursday night 10-3 in a game that went 10 innings and ended just after 1 a.m.
After taking Friday off, Emery resumed Saturday morning right where they quit Thursday night (ok it was technically Friday morning) by whipping Manti 11-1 and then ended last weeks' play by ending the season for Millard by winning the game 10-0.
The Emery bats combined in the four games to score 41 runs on 42 base hits with 8 of those going for extra bases, they picked up 15 walks and three batters got hit by a pitch. The extra base hits went to Tyson Roper, Ethan Tuttle, Marco Mota and Tanner Lake in game one as all four hit a double. In the second game Dillon Wilstead and Brayden Burke had doubles while in the third game the only extra base hit was a homerun off the bat of Mota. Game four saw just a single extra base hit, a double by Gavin McDermott.
Emery's pitching was just as phenomenal as Emery pitched five different players in the four games. Ridge Nielson pitched game one and gave up just a single earned run, struck out six batters, gave up three walks and pitched a complete game. In game three, Brayden Burke started for the Spartans and had the Templars off stride all game long as he pitched a complete game and allowed just three base hits while striking out three including the final batter. Game four was pitched by Tyson Roper and the Spartan pitcher allowed no runs, gave up six hits while walking zero and had five strikeouts including the side in the third inning.
In game two, Emery fans were treated to a couple of special moments on the mound. One came in the final out of the night when injured player Carson Healy entered the game as a relief pitcher in the tenth inning with two batters out and got the final Bulldog to pop up to the shortstop. Healy injured himself just before the season started in an accident and had not played this season until that appearance. The fans gave him a standing ovation.
The starting pitcher in game two was Dillon Wilstead and Wilstead gave a dominant performance for nine and two/thirds innings before giving way to Healy. Wilstead gave up zero earned runs as the three runs scored in the game came after an Emery error, allowed six base hits, walked just a single batter and that came in the tenth inning and Dillon struck out 21 batters in the game. Wilstead struck out the side in both the and seventh innings and struck out two batters in the first inning, the second inning, the third inning, the fifth inning, the eighth inning, the ninth inning and the tenth inning.
Emery started slow with the bats in both game one and two. In game one they scored three runs in the fourth inning, four in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning after trailing 1-0. Against Gunnison in game two, Emery scored twice in the sixth inning to tie the game and then once more in the seventh inning to tie the game again. The Spartans closed out the game by scoring 7 runs in the top of the tenth on 4 hits, 4 walks and an error. In the other two games they scored throughout the game as they always had some breathing room.
Emery will face Beaver in the game at 11:00 am Tuesday with the winner facing Grand immediately after that game. There would be a third game if Grand loses their first game. All games will be played at Utah Valley University.