Stansbury completed a sweep of Grantsville in baseball for the second straight year Thursday behind the pitching of Brek Bentley.
The senior ace fired a one-hitter in seven complete innings, and the Stallions scored six runs in the third and fourth innings en route to a 6-1 victory at Stansbury Park. The Stallions finished off the region season in first place with an 11-1 record, while the Cowboys finished league action at 7-5 in fourth place.
“From the start I felt like it was going to be a good game. I was throwing hard and all my pitches were working,” Bentley said.
In the first game between the two teams, Bentley gave up six runs in five innings, and the Stallions found themselves in a 6-2 hole. Stansbury rallied in the top of the sixth in that game to even the score, and Trenton Griffin picked up the victory in relief when Stansbury scored three runs in the top of the 11th for the victory.
This time around, Bentley handcuffed Grantsville’s hitters with a variety of pitches.
“In that first game I just didn’t have my best stuff — I couldn’t find the zone. Everything clicked this time around,” Bentley said.
“Most of the time I throw a four-seam fastball, slider and change-up. Those are my main pitches,” he said. Bentley also has a curve ball and two-seam fastball in his repertoire.
The senior pitcher got off to a fast start in the game striking out the first five batters he faced. He went on to record 12 strikeouts for the game, and allowed one hit. Bentley would have had a shutout, but Stansbury committed three errors in the top of third to give Grantsville a 1-0 lead.
With one out, Landon Hammond reached on an error on a lined shot to third base. Dillon Hutchins came on to run for Hammond, and Bentley threw wild to first on a pick-off attempt, which allowed Hutchins to scoot to second. Another Stansbury error on a routine ground ball allowed Hutchins to score all the way from second and gave the Cowboys a 1-0 lead. Dalen Williams ended up a second base with one out. Bentley struck out the next hitter, and got a ground out to end the frustration.
Hammond pitched two strong innings for the Cowboys, and then his team started to unravel on defense. The Cowboys let a high fly ball drop in the shallow outfield surrounded by three players. Then they committed an error on a routine force out at second base which put Jarrett Anderson at second and Chance Shields at first with no outs.
Nick Mackay then delivered the best hit of the day with a drive to the corner of the outfield for a triple. Anderson scored, Shields scored and even Mackay came all the way home on a GHS throwing error.
The Stallions wrapped up their scoring for the game with three more in the fourth inning. Alex Mackay walked and Cole Merseth came in to run for him. Merseth went to second on a bunt sacrifice by Bentley. Cody Barkdull singled to put runners on the corners, and then Anderson doubled to the left-center gap to score Merseth and Barkdull. Shields kept the rally alive with a double to right field to score Anderson and make it 6-1.
Wyatt Barrus came in to pitch for the Cowboys and was able to get the next two hitters out to end the fourth.
Stansbury catcher Alex Mackey made a great play in the top of the fifth throwing out a runner at second.
Grantsville’s Kelby Landon broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single to right in the top of the sixth, and Barrus held Stansbury scoreless in the fifth and sixth.
Grantsville traveled to Price on Monday for a non-region game against the Dinos. Carbon broke a 2-2 tied with three runs in the fifth to beat Grantsville 5-2 Monday.
Stansbury hosts Dixie at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round the 3A playoffs. The Cowboys travel to Desert Hills for a first-round game on Saturday. Both teams will play two games Saturday in the double-elimination 3A tourney.