The Tooele and Stansbury baseball teams battled their way into the Class 4A state tournament — now, it’s up to them to get the job done on the road if they want to see their seasons extended beyond this weekend.
Tooele (12-11, 12-6 Region 11), which finished third in Region 11, will travel to Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum to face Region 9 runner-up Desert Hills in a first-round matchup Saturday. The winner will play either Mountain Crest or Orem in a second-round game later that day, while the loser will play an elimination game. Stansbury (14-11, 10-8), which beat Park City in its final game of the season to earn Region 11’s No. 4 seed, will face Region 9 champion Dixie on Saturday in St. George. That first-round pod also includes Bear River and Salem Hills.
Stansbury’s game against Dixie pits a talented-but-young Stallions squad against one of the favorites to win the Class 4A championship in Dixie. In order to spring the upset, Stansbury will have to find a way to get its offense going against a tough Flyers pitching staff that has an earned-run average of 1.86 this season. Dixie also has a potent offense, with Kayler Yates (.500 batting average, four home runs, nine doubles, three triples, 27 RBIs) and Cooper Vest (.466, five home runs, 10 doubles, two triples, 36 RBIs) doing much of the damage.
Kaeden Kincaid leads Stansbury with a .388 average, hitting a home run, four doubles and three triples. Gage Miller (.380, five doubles, two triples) and Cayden Clark (.361, nine doubles, one triple) are also extra-base threats, as is Braydon Allie (.360, four doubles, one triple).
Desert Hills comes into Saturday’s game against Tooele with a 22-3 overall record. The Thunder do not have their statistics available online, but they allowed just 32 runs all season and averaged nine per game.
Tooele will need to be at its best, though it has had solid pitching all season and has a number of offensive threats. Dalton Harris’ .392 batting average comes with eight doubles, three triples and two home runs, and Brett Porthan is hitting .375 with four doubles and a home run. Griffen Bate is at .348 with 19 RBIs, six doubles and a home run.
The defending Class 3A state champions had their backs against the wall going into Thursday’s elimination game, as Grantsville faced Judge Memorial at Cate Field at Salt Lake Community College in West Jordan. Thursday’s game was not complete at press time.
The winner between the Cowboys (18-8) and Bulldogs (13-12) was set to play the winner of the Carbon-Emery game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kearns High School. Grantsville won its first-round game against American Leadership Academy 24-3 on Saturday, but lost 13-1 to Union in the second round to fall into the one-loss bracket. Judge Memorial, the Region 13 runner-up, lost to San Juan 6-3 in the first round before beating Providence Hall 11-4 at Manti High School.