Tappan Draper slides into home where he's safe in the championship game against Parowan.
Coach Steven Gordon, Coach Dave Hreinson, Dillion Wilstead, Austin Jeffs, Tyson Roper, Carson Healy, Gavin McDermott, Slade Childs, Tanner Lake, Drexler Tanner, Coach Shawn Alton, Coach Matt Bunnell; front Mark DeBry, Teigan Jewkes, Baylee Bolotas, Ridge Nielson, Tappan Draper, Marco Mota, Ethan Tuttle and Bryce Dugmore.
We're number one, top of the pile, or just plain state champions in 2A baseball. Emery finishes a long road to the championship game with a lot of team work and a lot of heart.
"I got it coach, give me one more shot," were the words uttered by pitcher Baylee Bolotas as he took the field in the top of the seventh inning. Bolotas then sat down the Parowan 7-8-9 batters in a row and the Emery High Spartans were the 2-A Utah State baseball champions for 2013. This was the second baseball title in the school's history. The first was back in 1982.
Emery fell behind to the Parowan Rams early in the game. Starting pitcher Dillon Wilstead got the Rams out 1-2-3 in the first inning. In the second inning, Parowan scored three times although it appeared that Wilstead had got out of the inning except for a missed call by the home plate umpire. With two out and two on, Wilstead threw a curve ball that looked like the third strike to the Ram batter to everyone in attendance except the umpire. The batter had a two RBI single on the next pitch. Parowan scored three runs in the inning to take the early lead.
Thanks to an Emery error in each of the next two innings, Parowan added a single run each inning to build their lead to 5-0 and maybe the Emery fans in attendance were a little nervous.
And then it happened, the inning that the Spartan fans had been waiting for. Emery knew that the Parowan pitching was almost exhausted after the team was playing their sixth game in three days. Emery scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to grab a lead that they would never relinquish.
In that inning, Wilstead led off and walked followed by Marco Mota getting on base due a Ram error. Gavin McDermott walked as did Ethan Tuttle and Emery had their first run with the bases still loaded and nobody out. Tanner Lake, batting out of the ninth spot, promptly singled to centerfield driving in two more Emery runs. Lead-off batter Ridge Nielson singled to center to score another run and then Tappen Draper singled to the right side. Tyson Roper followed with a hard hit to the shortstop that was misplayed and Drexler Tanner walked as Emery went completely through the line-up with all batters getting on base.
After Roper got out trying to advance on a bad throw, Wilstead hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the final run of the inning.
Emery continued their rampage the next inning as they scored seven more runs. McDermott singled, Tuttle got hit by a pitch and Lake laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third base. Nielson doubled scoring two runs, Draper got on base due to an error by the Ram shortstop, Roper singled driving in two runs, Tanner walked and Wilstead singled driving in another run. Mota flew out to centerfield with McDermott following with his second single of the inning. Tuttle ground out to end the inning.
Bolotas came in to pitch in the top of the fourth inning. After getting the first batter to fly out to center, the next batter tripled. After a ground out back to the pitcher, the next batter hit a line drive to left field that was misplayed leading to their fifth run of the game. In the fifth inning, Bolotas got the Ram batters to ground out to third, to short and then to third for a quick inning.
In the top of the sixth inning, Bolotas got the first batter out on a grounder to short. The next batter singled to right, followed by a single, another single and a double. The next batter had a sacrifice fly and the next batter tripled to center. The final batter flew out to centerfield.
It was during this inning that Coach Steve Gordon sent Carson Healy to the bullpen to warm up so that he could pitch the seventh inning. Healy was the winning pitcher from the day before. Healy never got to pitch as Gordon stuck with Bolotas.
In that final inning, the first batter hit a fly to right field and then Bolotas struck out the second batter. With two out, the third batter grounded to short and Nielson made the play to first and the game was over and the celebrations began.
Emery played two other games at the Kearns High School field during their stay in Salt Lake. On Thursday, Emery battled Millard to a 4-3 seven inning victory. Millard scored a single run in the first inning and two more runs in the fourth inning off pitcher Wilstead. Wilstead pitched the entire game to get the win.
Emery's McDermott was the batting hero of this game. In the bottom of the fourth inning and with two outs, Wilstead got hit by a pitch. The next batter, Mota, singled to left center field. Tuttle then singled to load the bases. McDermott, with a 1-2 count, doubled scoring the three Emery runners and tying the score. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Wilstead doubled to lead off the inning. Mota flew out to centerfield followed by Tuttle grounding out to the second baseman. McDermott then singled to score Wilstead and Emery had the lead. In the top of the seventh, Wilstead got the heart of the Eagle line up to strike out, to ground out to second and to ground out to short.
On Friday, everything went Emery's way in a game against Kanab. Emery scored eight runs in the top of the first inning to effectively end the game early. Emery scored four more times in the second inning, twice in the third, four more in the fourth and once in the fifth inning and Emery left the field with a 19-1 victory.
Healy only gave up two singles in the game while forcing the Cowboys to go down 1-2-3 in each of the first three innings. Healy worked the Kanab team as they hit fly balls to the outfield five times for outs, pop up flies to the infield twice,seven ground outs and Healy struck out the final batter. Healy pitched the five innings it took to put the game away.
Every Emery player had a base hit in this game and everyone scored at least one run. Tanner had two doubles while McDermott and Mota each had one. Lake had a triple in the game. Emery finished with 15 base hits.
After the championship game, coach Gordon told his players, "You're going to get a ring boys, way to not give up. That was a roller coast but way to get it done. Great job guys. The players have hearts of gold and they never gave up." Gordon was a bundle of nerves in the dugout right up to that final out and then he let it out.
Gordon started seven sophomores in the field in the championship game along with two juniors. The only senior on the team was Draper and in this game he was the designated hitter. The team finished with a 19-6 season record, a state title and a co-region title with Grand. Emery had a great year and the future looks bright with this young team.