The Tooele baseball team is going with a youth movement this summer.
With that, there are some growing pains to be expected, and that was the case in Friday’s summer-league game against Kearns at Dow James Memorial Park. The Buffaloes were basically dead even with the visiting Cougars, except for one inning — the third — in which Kearns scored four runs on five hits and one error en route to a 4-0 win.
Much of Kearns’ offensive success in that inning was the result of youthful mistakes by Tooele. Some were simple miscommunication, while others were of the physical variety. However, it was a valuable opportunity for a team full of sophomores and juniors to learn those lessons against a talented Class 6A squad like the Cougars.
Tooele’s varsity squad is playing without several key upperclassmen this season, as Brett Porthan, Griffen Bate and Brandon Vorwaller are all playing for the Tooele County Bears in American Legion ball. However, that means some of the Buffaloes’ up-and-coming young talent is gaining valuable varsity-level experience.
The one rough inning was a blemish on an otherwise-excellent outing for Tooele starting pitcher Jake Hervat. The sophomore-to-be allowed three earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and a walk in five innings before giving way to D.J. Davis for the final two innings. Davis allowed two hits and struck out two.
The Buffs struggled at the plate, managing just three hits against the Cougars and grounding into three double plays. Tooele went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and was unable to make Kearns pay for five walks. Davis went 1-for-2 at the plate and Hervat and Mason Donadio each went 1-for-3.
Tooele’s next game is Wednesday in Bluffdale against Summit Academy, the beginning of a stretch of four consecutive road games in less than two weeks. After games at Granger (Monday), Murray (June 20) and Brighton (June 21), the Buffs will return to Dow James Memorial Park on June 24 for a game against Providence Hall.