Grantsville advanced to the second round of the Utah State American Legion U17 tournament Wednesday with an easy 11-2 win over Weber in Grantsville.
The Cowboys, who are defending state U17 legion champions, travel to top-seed Box Elder today for a second-round game. The single-elimination tournament continues at Box Elder with semifinal games on Friday and the championship game on Saturday.
Matt Garrard dominated from the mound in the victory over the Warriors. The Grantsville pitcher allowed three hits and struck out seven with a complete game.
Meanwhile, Grantsville hitters ripped away at the plate and tallied a dozen hits in the victory. Catcher Wyatt Barrus smacked a home run, triple and double in the slugfest to lead the Cowboys.
“We try to give younger players some experience in these (U17) games,” said Grantsville coach Loren Anderson. “Most of these players also play on our older legion team, and a lot of times in the summer we don’t have all our players at games for various reasons. Our main goal with this younger team right now though is to win this tournament.”
Garrard started hot from the mound and continued that way throughout the game. Weber’s only runs came in the top of the fifth helped out by a hit batter and a pair of Grantsville errors. Otherwise, Garrard was on target for a shutout.
The Grantsville pitcher struck out the first two hitters he faced and got the third on a fly out to center fielder Dallin Williams. The speedy Williams tracked down several fly balls in the Grantsville victory.
Lead-off hitter Williams also beat out a bobbled ground ball by the Weber second baseman to get Grantsville going to start the game. Kyle Peterson followed with a single to center, and clean-up hitter Garrard knocked a single up the middle to score Williams. A pair of Weber errors put Grantsville up 3-0 after the first inning.
Grantsville widened the lead to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Christian Kelley pounded a deep single, and Grantsville loaded the bases with another single by Kyle Robison and a walk to Williams. With one out, Barrus knocked a double to right to pick up two RBIs.
Garrard continued to dominate on the mound with two more strikeouts in the top of the third. A walk, stolen base and passed ball put a runner at third for Weber, but the next batter grounded out to end the scoring threat.
Weber scored twice in the fifth to slice the lead to 5-2, and looked to score more when they loaded the bases with two outs. Garrard came through, however, with a strikeout to keep the damage minimal and leave three on base.
Left-handed hitter Barrus led off the bottom of the fifth with a long drive to right field that almost went over the fence. While the left fielder scurried to grab the ball, Barrus sprinted to third base for a triple. Garrard smacked a single to left to score Barrus, and Riley Smith came on to run for Barrus.
Smith stole second and Danny Nelson followed with a single up the middle. Clay Matthews reached on an error, and Kelley followed with an RBI single. Barrus, Smith and Matthews all scored in the inning to push the lead to 8-2.
Grantsville almost ended it in the bottom of the sixth with three more runs to go up 11-2. If a team leads by 10 runs after five innings, the game ends on the mercy rule.
Williams singled to center, Peterson doubled to left-center and this time Barrus’ shot to deep right sailed over the fence and hit the scoreboard for a three-run homer.
Weber went three up, three down in the top of the seventh with ground outs.