Not even a month removed from winning the Class 3A state championship, the Grantsville baseball team is already back at it, laying the foundation for what the Cowboys hope will be another championship season.
Through the first four games of the summer league season, it appears Grantsville hasn’t lost any of its momentum.
On Monday evening in West Valley City, the Cowboys took advantage of a struggling Granger squad en route to a 22-1 win over the Lancers that was shortened to four innings by impending darkness. Grantsville (4-0 this summer) drew 10 walks and was hit by four pitches, and also pounded out 11 hits in the victory.
“We’re a scrappy team, we work hard and we get it done,” Grantsville junior-to-be Parker Thomas said.
Thomas, the Cowboys’ starting pitcher in last month’s state championship game against Carbon, played center field in Tuesday’s game as fellow junior-to-be Jackson Sandberg took to the mound. Sandberg had little trouble, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter in four innings.
Sandberg also got plenty of support from his offense. Zach Capel drew a leadoff walk in the top of the first inning and scored two batters later on Justin Richardson’s RBI double to left to put Grantsville up 1-0, and Ethan Merrill’s leadoff triple in the top of the second sparked a six-run outburst that turned the game into a blowout.
Granger was victimized by five defensive errors, including two dropped third strikes with two outs in the second inning that allowed Grantsville to extend the frame. The Cowboys tacked on four additional runs in the third on a bases-loaded walk by Thomas, a fielder’s choice by Richardson, an RBI single by Merrill and a sacrifice fly by Wilcox.
The wheels truly came off for the Lancers in the top of the fourth, when Grantsville sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 11 times. Ten of the first 12 Cowboys to come to the plate reached base, though none of them recorded a hit. Grantsville did eventually get four consecutive singles from Capel, Sandberg, Thomas and Richardson with two outs.
Thomas said the Cowboys have a bit more swagger now that they’ve won a state title, and they’re out to prove that just because they lost some key components of their squad to graduation, it doesn’t mean they plan on taking a step back.
“I think a lot of the kids on our team have stepped up to fill those roles,” he said. “I feel like we kind of walk around with some more confidence that we can play good ball.”
The Cowboys, who are in their first season competing in a Salt Lake County-sponsored league that also includes fellow Tooele County squads Tooele and Stansbury, will be back in action Wednesday night at Herriman.