On May 31, the Tooele High School Buffaloes baseball team kicked off the 2023 summer league with a home-opener against the Highland High Rams. In a tightly-contested affair that was close most of the game, Tooele pulled off a come-from-behind win.
At the onset of the game both teams played solid defense, with Buffaloes pitcher Carson Freeman throwing two strikeouts over the first two innings. Then, at the top of the third, the Rams broke through and scored a two-out-go-ahead run to take a 1-0 lead.
Tooele managed to put together hits and threatened to score on many occasions — including a productive bottom of the fourth — but left numerous base runners stranded on base and were unable to get onto the scoresheet.
“We were having a hard time put consecutive hits together,” head coach Travis Sutherland said. “We are still trying to figure out a good lineup and where each player can contribute the best.”
Tooele finally got off the schneid at the bottom of the sixth, when the team opened the score off a four-run scoring outburst. After Highland changed pitchers, the Buffaloes earned three walks out of the first four batters and Madex Vonhatten sent two runners home off a line-drive double — giving the home team a 2-1 lead.
“With the lead-off walk by Gabe Sutherland to put the tying run on, then Rowdy Anderton walks and Madex VonHatten hits a double to Take the lead,” Coach Sutherland said. “We just needed a timely hit, and got one, out of Madex.”
The scoring didn’t stop there, as two wild pitches sent Carson Hendrix and Vonhatten across home plate to widen the Buffaloes’ lead to 4-1 heading into the top of the 7th.
Freeman’s pitching took over at the top of the 7th, when he struck out three of four Highland batters to seal the win for Tooele. At the end of the game, he finished with 10 strikeouts and allowed only four hits during his 80-pitch game.
“Carson Freeman controlled the game for us and pitched a complete game.”
Other leaders for the Buffaloes included Vonhatten, who scored one run off two hits. Three Tooele players (Hendrix, Kaden Dean, Conner Higgins) finished the game tied with one hit apiece and contributed three runs in the victory.
Next up for the Buffaloes was a cross-town matchup against the Grantsville Cowboys.