Tyson Roper joins the pile of Emery players after the final out was made and Emery repeats as 2A baseball state champs.
The Emery baseball team at the beginning of the game against Beaver on the final day of the tournament.
It was May 11, 2013 at about 1:45 p.m. when I first heard a player say "We can win this again next year, we can go back to back," and sure enough just one year, three days and a couple of hours later the Emery High Spartan baseball team had done just that. Emery had won another baseball title.
In the 2013, 2-A Utah State baseball championship Emery did not start a single senior in the field as the lone senior on the team, Tappan Draper, had a bad shoulder and only batted. One could see how the talk of more than one championship could begin.
In the off-season, starter Baylee Bolotas moved with his family out of the area but in the same off-season Brayden Burke moved into the county and one BB replaced the other BB.
The Emery players prepared hard during the off-season to do it again and their practices seemed like there was more of a purpose behind them. The players wanted that second championship.
Flash forward to the middle of February, 2014, basketball is getting over, baseball can begin practicing and projected number one pitcher Carson Healy is injured in an accident and Carson finds himself with worse problems besides not playing baseball. Healy most likely will miss his senior season in rehab.
Emery starts the 2014 season off with a pair of games in Sanpete Valley, first against Gunnison and then against Manti. On March 4, 2014 Emery started a 10 game winning streak with a victory over the Bulldogs. Emery had come to play this season.
With a record of 10-0, the Spartans made a trip to Union High in Roosevelt and the Spartans got swatted by the Cougars 20-10 and the talk of an undefeated season was gone. Over the next couple of weeks, Emery lost to Grand 1-0 when the players insisted on chasing curve ball all game long instead of showing patience with the bat and then the Spartans lost a heartbreaker at home to North Sevier and just like that, an outright region title was gone.
The Spartans, who had finished third in the state two seasons earlier with a 16-9 record, would now travel back to Beaver, the location from which they had begun their quest just a year earlier. They finished last season with a 19-6 season record and the Spartans possessed a 15-3 record going into the playoffs and they wanted to improve on last season's finish. The team wanted to keep showing progression in the win department.
Emery went 1-1 in Beaver with a 4-3 loss to the host school, putting up a roadblock for Emery and they found themselves in the one-loss bracket, a tough place to be if one really wants to win a championship. Most teams, especially smaller school teams, run out of pitching before they can actually win the whole thing. This season's Spartans were the exception. Emery had pitching, a lot of it and they needed every bit of it.
In Salt Lake valley for the championship tournament, the weather played a role as the Spartans first game was delayed by over three hours as the field crew worked on making the field playable after the rain storms had ended. The second game ended at 1 a.m. the next morning and the next day's games were completely wiped out by the weather. What a start.
Friday's games were moved to Saturday and then the Saturday games were moved to the next Tuesday. The site was also shifted as now the teams would finish at Utah Valley University.
It appears that the delays helped the Spartans though as the pitching arms had a chance to recuperate as the Spartans went through five pitchers on championship Tuesday enroute to the state title.
The final out of the 1 a.m. game on that first day was recorded when, for the first time this season, Carson Healy entered the game to a standing ovation by the Emery fans as Dillion Wilstead left the game after pitching his heart out. Healy pitched really well in his one outing for the season and got the out.
Emery had four seniors this season, Burke, Gavin McDermott, Drexler Tanner and Marco Mota but the talk has already began for three peat. While the seniors will be missed, the Spartans return four starting pitchers in Dillon Wilstead, Tyson Roper, Ridge Nielson and Ethan Tuttle. They are anxious to keep the streak going as is the coaching staff.
This season a team won the championship and that is the way it really should be. These guys played together with a common goal. Congratulations to a job well done.