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Emery Spartans finish season at state tourney

Gatlan Huntington slides into third base.
Brett Mecham begins the game pitching for Emery.
Jason Giles slides into third for Emery.

Sports writer

Juan Diego baseball state champs, Emery loses to Park City

Several months ago when the high school baseball season began, Juan Diego and Judge Memorial High schools were thought to be the best in the state by just about everybody. When the season ended last weekend, they were right as Juan Diego soundly defeated Judge for the 3-A state championship.

Juan Diego went 24-2 this season in winning their first 3-A baseball title with one loss coming at Pleasant Grove, a 5-A school by a score of 3-1 and the other loss coming from the Emery Spartans. Emery defeated Juan Diego on their home field 7-1.

After splitting their two games at Grantsville a week ago, every game was do or die for Emery as those teams with a loss fought to stay in the tournament. Emery faced Park City last Thursday and lost a heart breaker 7-6. Park City was the region winner in region 10, the same region with Judge.

Neither team scored in the first inning and Emery, the visiting team in the game at Spanish Fork, did not score in the second inning despite the first two batters getting on base. A pitch hit Addison Collard and Tayler Tanner singled to right field but the next three batters failed to advance them and the inning was over.

In the bottom of the second, Park City sent nine batters to the plate and four of them scored. After the first two batters got out, the next six all got on base. Four singles, a walk and a hit batsman led to the runs. Those were the last runs Park City would score until the final inning.

Emery scored their first run in the third inning. Gatlan Huntington singled to center field and ended up on third base on a single by Jason Giles. A ground out by Nevin Jensen scored the run and Emery trailed 4-1.

Emery threatened in the fourth inning after Derrick Allred got hit and Brett Mecham followed up with a double down the left field line. Neither batter was able to score.

In the fifth inning, Giles singled on what could be described as a swinging bunt. Jensen then hit a hard ground ball to third base and was called out at first. I emphasize called out, because everybody at the game would swear that he beat the throw by at least a step. Collard then got hit again, Tanner single to center scoring Giles and Colby Snow singled to center scoring Addison. Emery now trailed 4-3.

In the sixth inning, Emery continued hitting the ball well. Mecham opened the inning by getting to first base due a Miner error. Kash Jewkes then singled to the left side and Emery had the first two batters on. After Gatlan hit a fielder's choice and Mecham was out with Huntington safe, Giles hit a triple to the left field fence with Jewkes and Huntington scoring. Giles scored on a single by Jensen to left field. Collard then hit into a double play to end the inning. Emery now led for the first time at 6-4.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Park City managed a single but the other three batters all got out. A great catch by Huntington in center field on a ball hit short in the gap aided the defensive effort.

After Emery did not score in the top of the seventh, Park City was in their final at bat. Emery got the first batter to pop up to short. The next two batters singled to give Park City hope and the Miners filled the bases as the next batter walked. Huntington replaced Collard on the mound and got the first batter he faced to strike out for the bases loaded and two away.

The next batter hit a grounder to short, scoring the runner on third. The throw to first was wide and the runner on second also scored tying the game. With runners now on second and third with two out and the score tied, a pitch that got by Emery's catcher for a passed ball allowed the final run to score and game was over as was the Emery season.

Emery finished the season with a 17-6 record and a second place finish in region 8 behind Juan Diego. Coach Steven Gordon said, "It's a disappointing loss, but we had a good season."

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