Stansbury’s Mitch McIntyre had cruised through the first seven innings of Tuesday’s Region 10 showdown with rival Grantsville, keeping the Cowboys off the board with a dominating pitching performance.
He just needed a little help from his offense. And his brother was the one who provided it.
Matt McIntyre’s solo home run to straightaway center field in the top of the eighth inning broke a scoreless tie, and Mitch McIntyre pitched a complete-game two-hitter as the Stallions held on for a 2-0 win on the road just as a torrential downpour hit Tooele County.
“When you have one of the top pitchers in [Class] 3A on the mound, it’s pretty hard to score off of him,” Stansbury coach Ray Clinton said. “We played good defense behind him and he made the pitches when we needed him to. It was going to be a low-scoring game when you do that, and it took eight innings to finalize it.”
Matt McIntyre’s home run ended an otherwise-spectacular outing for Grantsville starter Shaden Lazenby, who had shut out Stansbury (10-7, 6-1 Region 10) through the first seven innings.
“I think it was my fourth at-bat against [Lazenby], and I knew he didn’t have anything I hadn’t seen yet,” Matt McIntyre said. “I just wanted to make sure I was on time and got one that I put a good swing on. I don’t hit too many home runs to center, so I wasn’t sure if it was gone or not.”
Mitch McIntyre drove in Reilly Tripp with an important insurance run later in the inning, and completed a dominant outing on the mound through a driving rainstorm in the bottom of the eighth. He finished with 14 strikeouts and just two walks, throwing 95 pitches.
“I’ve got to give it to my defense — that’s the main thing,” Mitch McIntyre said. “It was crazy. They were just making plays for me behind me. That gave me a lot of confidence in myself to execute my pitches, and Matt behind the dish — he did an amazing job. That hit he got pumped us up and we were able to win. It was a good game.”
Mitch said having his brother behind the plate only adds to his comfort level on the mound.
“Out of all my experience playing baseball, Matt’s by far the best catcher I’ve ever had,” he said. “He works so hard for me behind the plate, and I have the confidence that any pitch I want to pitch, he’ll be able to block it. It’s huge to have my own brother out there helping me out.”
Lazenby and reliever Hogan Turner combined to allow just two earned runs on eight hits for Grantsville (8-8, 1-4).
Grantsville suffered its fourth straight loss in region play and fifth straight overall. The Cowboys, who find themselves with a narrow lead on Tooele for the region’s No. 4 seed and final playoff berth, were left lamenting missed opportunities against a county rival.
“We had a couple innings where if we could have gotten a hit, we would have scored,” Grantsville coach Loren Anderson said. “We’ve got to be more productive offensively and give ourselves a chance to win ballgames.”
The teams will meet again Friday at Stansbury High School, with Stansbury looking to keep pace with Park City in the battle for the Region 10 championship.
“We’re feeling good,” Clinton said. “We’ve got a big game against Park City next week, but we can’t overlook Grantsville on Friday. If we win that, we’ll go match up with Park City. They’ll be throwing their ace, we’ll be throwing ours up at their place and it should be another low-scoring affair.”