A red-hot Union baseball team scored seven runs in the second inning en route to a 13-1 victory over Grantsville in the second round of the state playoffs Saturday afternoon in Grantsville.
“We just got outplayed, you have to give them credit. They got some hits early in the game and got rolling,” said Grantsville coach Aaron Perkins. “That’s the nature of the game sometimes. We just couldn’t build any momentum. We were hitting the ball, but they wouldn’t drop.”
The Cowboys (18-8) managed six hits and only struck out three times, but left several runners stranded.
Starting pitcher Parker Thomas lasted two innings and was replaced in the top of the third inning by Austin Wilcox, who kept Union scoreless through the next three innings. The Cowboys trailed 8-0 after the first two innings.
“(Thomas’) pitches were up a bit. That’s only the second time in two years he’s lost a game. Austin did a great job when he came in. I know this team, they will work hard the next three days and be ready on Thursday,” Wilcox said.
Grantsville’s only run in the game came in the fourth inning with two outs, when Sandberg singled through the left side of the infield and Wilcox singled up the middle. Chace Gipson reached on an error and the Cowboys scored on the play. The run made it 8-1 after four innings.
The Cougars’ offense kicked back into gear in the top of the sixth with two more runs to make it 10-1. They added another three runs in the top of seventh.
Grantsville’s Taylor Wood replaced Wilcox on the mound in the sixth, and Kaden Lund pitched two-thirds of an inning in the seventh.
Union extended its current winning streak to 13 with the victory on the road. The Cougars came into the game as the No. 2 seed from Region 14, with host Grantsville the No. 1 seed from Region 13. Grantsville defeated Union 3-1 back on March 9 at the Tiger-Panther Classic in Hurricane.
The Cowboys breezed past American Leadership Academy 24-3 in a five-inning game in their opener on Saturday. Grantsville pounded 17 hits in the contest with home runs from Jackson Sandberg and Parker Bird, a triple from Taylor Wood and a double from Isaac Riding. Ethan Merrill recorded the victory on the mound.
Grantsville will face fellow Region 13 opponent Judge Memorial on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Cate Field at Salt Lake Community College in the consolation round of the tourney. The Cowboys were 2-1 against the Bulldogs in league play.