The Tooele baseball team had its strongest season in recent memory in 2018, but the Buffaloes’ stay in the Class 4A state tournament was short-lived.
The Buffs (11-15) dropped both games in opening-round “pod” action in southern Utah on Saturday, falling 9-0 to Region 12 runner-up Bear River in the opener before being eliminated by Region 10 champion Spanish Fork 12-4 in the one-loss bracket. Spanish Fork originally was set to play host to the pod, but most of the tournament was relocated to Washington County with rain soaking the Wasatch Front for most of the weekend.
In their first-round game against Bear River, the Buffaloes found themselves in a 3-0 hole after the first inning before the Bears tacked on four runs in the third and two more in the fourth. Tooele managed just five hits against Bear River starter Jake Dahle, who recorded 15 strikeouts and no walks in a dominant complete-game performance. Tyler Beer was the only Tooele player with multiple hits, going 2-for-3.
Brett Porthan took the loss for Tooele, allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits in six innings while striking out five and walking one.
The Buffs had another rough start in their elimination game against Spanish Fork, spotting the Dons a 4-0 lead through the first three innings. Spanish Fork scored its 12 runs on just nine hits, ending the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth by virtue of the 10-run mercy rule. Four pitchers spent time on the mound for Tooele, with Jaden Park taking the loss after allowing six runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Ryan Peterson allowed four runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 1 2/3 innings, while Dalton Harris gave up two runs and walked three in 1/3 of an inning and Jaxson Miner gave up a hit to the only batter he faced.
Beer was 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and an RBI. Jake Lopez drove in Tooele’s other run.