Spartan baseball fourth in state 3A
|At back, Coach Jim Jones gives Ryan Draper a hug. Emery players celebrate their victory over Bear River. Front Steve Giles, Kesler Tanner, Colby Snow, Brett Mecham, Jordan Gee, Riley Spears and Gatlin Huntington.|
After an up and down season, after finishing third in region 8 this season, after a big loss last weekend in the opening of state play, not many probably figured the Spartans would still be playing baseball Friday night in the state tournament. After playing four more games in two days, Emery would win three of those games and finish fourth this season in 3-A baseball behind Snow Canyon, Dixie and Judge Memorial.
In their first game Thursday at the Spanish Fork complex, Emery would score the tying run in the bottom of the seventh and the winning run in the bottom of the eighth to grab a 4-3 win over Delta. Thursday afternoon at UVSC in Orem, Emery would score the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning and the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to grab a 6-5 win over Tooele.
On Friday morning back at UVSC, Emery would play region champion Bear River and score both the tying run and the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to grab an 8-7 win. Friday night under the lights at UVSC, Emery's run ran out as they played Judge for the second time in the playoffs and lost this game 18-8. With the loss, Emery was through but they were happy with their fourth place finish. "When you go on a run like this that we just had, you have got to enjoy it. We finished in the top four. Our kids just kept battling, never gave up, just kept making the plays," said Head Coach Jimmy Jones.
Emery overcame bad officiating, not just my words, but many who were there and not just from Emery, lack of depth in the pitching rotation and the many good teams that were in this year's state field to finish off the season in style. You will not believe the umpire calls that were made in the second game Thursday, you will think I exaggerate but I am not kidding when I say that the officials stunk. More on this later.
In the Delta game, Delta scored a run each in the first two innings as Kyler Edgehouse had trouble finding his groove at first. Delta would score one more run in the fourth inning. Emery scored their first runs in the third inning.
Jordan Gee led off with a double to left field, Kesler Tanner singled to right center field to advance Gee. Tanner was thrown out trying to steal second base. Kade Jones hit a high fly ball to center field for a single and knocked in Gee. Dave Justice would single to left field and grab the RBI on Jones.
After three scoreless innings, Emery would tie the game in the seventh inning. Steven Giles would walk to start off the inning. Gee laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Giles to second. Tanner then singled to left field to score Giles. In the eight inning, Justice walked and would hurt his leg in the process that hindered him the rest off the tournament. After two fly balls, Blake Mortensen got hit by a pitch and on the next batter; Skyler Jensen stole third base and on a bad throw scooted home with the winning run.
Edgehouse gave up three walks, all early in the game, struck out seven, gave up five hits and had only one earned one scored against him. Not bad for a pitcher that had not been playing because of illness.
Against Tooele, Giles opened on the mound and pitched three scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fourth. Trevor Komar then pitched two scoreless innings.
Emery would score a run in the fourth inning as Ryan Draper would walk, got to third on a single by Edgehouse and would score on a sacrifice fly by Ryne Jones. Emery scored two more in the fifth inning. Giles would single, Gee doubled off the left field fence, and Kade Jones would score both with a single.
|In right field, Steve Giles holds up the ball after making a diving catch to win the Bear River game 8-7. Emery players rush to congratulate Giles.|
Emery then added a run in each of the last three innings. In the sixth, Ryne Jones would double and would score on two consecutive wild pitches. In the seventh inning, Gee got on base because of an error, was sacrificed to second by Tanner and would score on a single by Justice. The winning run scored in the eighth inning as Ryne Jones singled to right field, Mortensen singled and then Tooele walked Gee intentionally to load the bases. Tanner was hit by a pitch to force in the winning run. Edgehouse pitched the last two innings to grab another win.
Against Bear River, Giles would start the game again but left after an inning with a sore arm. Komar then pitched two innings before Edgehouse came back in and closed out the game. Bear River would score one in each of the first three innings, three in the fourth inning and another in the fifth inning.
Emery scored their first run in the third inning, Gee doubled to left again and was wild pitched to third. Tanner then hit a sacrifice fly to score Gee. Draper and Justice also singled in the inning but could not score. In their half of the fourth, Emery would also score three runs. Ryne walked, Mortensen walked, and Giles would lay down a good bunt along the third base line to load the bases. Tanner would score the first with a single to keep the bases loaded. Kade then scored to runs with a double to left center field.
Emery scored two more in the fifth inning to tie the game. Mortensen and Giles would walk. Tanner got on base due to a shortstop error and Jones would get on base due to another shortstop error. An Emery run would score on each error. Emery then scored two more runs in the seventh for the win. Giles would single and Gee homered over the left field fence. In the bottom of the seventh right fielder, Steven Giles made an amazing diving catch with two outs to end the game. Edgehouse picked up his third consecutive victory but was now out of innings.
In the Judge game, Emery opened with Gee on the mound, went with Komar after 2/3 of an inning and stayed that way until the fourth inning when Trevor Mitcheson came in to pitch. He pitched two innings. Gatlin Huntington then pitched and Brett Mecham closed out the game. Judge would score at will it seemed.
Emery would score three runs in second inning, two more in the third and fourth innings and one more in the fifth inning. In the second, Giles would single, Gee would walk, Tanner was hit by a pitch, Kade would single to score one and Draper would single to score two more.
In the third inning, Edgehouse would walk, Ryne would single to right, Mortensen got hit by a pitch, and Giles would single to center to score a run. Gee ground out to third base but also knocked in a run. In the fourth, Draper would double; Ryne would triple to right center field and would score on a single by Giles. Tanner would score Emery's last run. After a walk, an error that put Justice on, Edgehouse would single to score the last run.
Now back to the officiating. The field ump missed obvious calls at second base, at first base and at third base. On one play, the runner ran into the fielder with ball. The runner was either out by being touched or for interference. He was neither. Another time, a player not on the roster batted, again ignored by officials. In the bottom of the seventh inning with Emery up by one and two outs, the batter missed with his swing on a third strike, was tagged by the catcher as he started for first and game should be over, right. Nope. Home ump said he did not swing and base ump agreed although every body else in the stadium thought otherwise. Coach Jones protested and was ejected as he walked away. Another bad call. Lest you think I was prejudiced, the activities association sent both officials home after the game.
Good run Emery, it was fun.