Whatever troubles the Grantsville baseball team had at the end of Region 11 play were unapparent Saturday as the Cowboys cruised to a 7-0 victory over Morgan and a 6-1 win over Carbon in the first and second rounds of the 3A state tournament.
Grantsville 7, Morgan 0
The Cowboys took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Catcher Ky Fisher led things off with a bunt up the third base line before center fielder Dallin Williams hit a single through the left side to put runners on first and second base, and short stop Nick Arbon hit a single into right field during the next at bat. Fisher, Williams and Arbon each crossed the plate before the inning ended.
Morgan had runners on second and third base in the top of the third inning, but Grantsville pitcher Wyatt Barrus struck out Morgan pitcher Triston Clemons on a called third strike and fanned first baseman Corbin Lunt to end the inning and get out of the jam.
Grantsville head coach Loren Anderson said Barrus’ eight strikeouts in the shutout performance were huge for the Cowboys.
“We’re solid defensively when we have good pitching,” Anderson said. “That keeps us in games like we’ve seen today.”
The Cowboys hit through the order in the fifth inning, highlighted by Barrus’ two-run homer over the right field fence to bat in short stop Nick Arbon and make it 5-0. The no-out hitting streak continued with second baseman Dillon Hutchins’ double to left field five pitches later. Hutchins later scored and the Cowboys led 7-0 at the end of the inning.
Grantsville had seven runs on 11 hits and one error, holding Morgan scoreless on five hits and an error. Morgan left eight runners on base.
“We’ve got a few things to clean up, obviously we’re not perfect,” Anderson said. “But we got that one out of the way. The first one’s tough always.”
Grantsville 6, Carbon 1
In a rematch of last Tuesday’s 16-7 shootout, Grantsville’s bats came alive again in the bottom of the second inning Saturday.
After a pair of leadoff walks, pitcher Dillon Hutchins scored on a wild pitch before catcher Ky Fisher hit a double to right-center field to knock in outfielders Wyatt Smith and Clay Matthews, giving the Cowboys a 3-0 lead.
“Ky’s always big for us, the leadoff hitter. He hadn’t driven in many runs, but that’s why we have Clay bat nine, he’s like a second leadoff hitter,” Barrus said. “When Ky gets a chance to drive in runs, he usually does and he came through.
Fisher went 2-3 with a pair of RBIs and a steal.
Leading off in the bottom of the third, the home plate umpire awarded Barrus first base when he was apparently hit by a pitch. After a Carbon appeal, Barrus was brought back to the batter’s box, where he took a full-count pitch past the left-field fence to make it 4-0.
“I thought I walked the first time,” Barrus said, “but I got an extra pitch and I drove it.”
It was Barrus’ only hit of the game.
Hutchins walked Carbon right fielder Kaden Sherman in the top of the fifth inning, who later scored from third on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.
The Cowboys added a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 6-1.
Hutchins had three strikeouts and allowed no earned runs through five-and-one-third innings before walking the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. Matt Garrard came on to pitch from third base and did not allow a hit for the rest of the game.
“(Hutchins) pitched great, and Matt (Garrard) closed it down for us at the end,” Barrus said. “Pitching was great the whole day, that was the big thing.”
Carbon scored one run on five hits and left six runners on base. Grantsville ended with six runs on seven hits, stranding seven runners.
“We left a lot of runners on. I think that 6-1 is maybe a little bit deceiving. We should have scored more runs, but the whole team kind of chipped together,” Barrus said. “The bottom of the lineup really picked it up today.”
The Cowboys will play Juan Diego in the third round at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem.