Grantsville scored all the runs it needed in the first inning for a 5-3 victory at home over Stansbury Thursday afternoon.
The Cowboys evened the score with the Stallions after losing 1-0 at Stansbury on April 1. The two rivals will battle again on Friday, April 25 to determine the winner of their three-game regular-season series this year.
Fielding and throwing errors by the Stallions led to four runs in the first inning for the Cowboys. Grantsville called a double steal with Dallin Williams and Nick Arbon at first and second. A throwing error to third allowed Williams to score. Arbon then scored on a passed ball. After Wyatt Smith reached the base paths to continue the rally, Dillon Hutchins lined a shot to right field which was misplayed by the right fielder. The ball sailed over outfielder’s head and Smith came around to score. Another throwing error to second base on the same play allowed Hutchins to come home for the fourth run.
Stansbury opened with a run in the top of the first, and cut the lead in half with a second run in the top of the fourth, but the Cowboys responded when Matt Garrard knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Stansbury added a run in the top of the sixth to make it 5-3. Garrard came on in the seventh to close out the game on the mound for the Cowboys. Hutchins scattered five hits in his six innings of work on the mound, and allowed only one extra-base hit.
Manzione settled down after the first inning and only allowed five hits for the game.
Grantsville (3-1), Bear River (4-1) and Stansbury (4-2) will battle it out for the Region 11 championship this year. Grantsville still has three games against Bear River and another bout with the Stallions.
The Cowboys seem to have all the ingredients to make a deep run in the state playoffs.
“We’re a decent team; we have several seniors on the roster and we’ve been playing well,” said GHS coach Loren Anderson. “We don’t have that one shutdown pitcher, but Wyatt Barrus has been doing a great job. Hummer (Hutchins) didn’t pitch as well against Stansbury as he had the past two games, but he battled hard. Our defense did a great job against Stansbury.”
Grantsville got out of jams with three double plays late in the game. The Cowboys turned one double play in the fifth, one in the sixth and another in the seventh.
“We’ve got some really good athletes on this team. I’ve played a lot of baseball with these guys growing up,” said ace pitcher Barrus who is hitting above .500 for the season and is 4-1 as a pitcher.
“In the past we’ve had some trouble with Stansbury, but I think it’s just a mental stigma thing. We’ve been just as good or better than them the past couple of years.”
Barrus said he feels Grantsville’s edge is in the pitching department. “My loss at Stansbury was my first of the season, and Trent (Griffin) is a great pitcher. But we also have “Hummer” Hutchins and then Matt (Garrard). We’re pretty deep on the mound.”
Grantsville hosts Ben Lomond Tuesday, Delta Thursday and travels to Ben Lomond Friday.
Stansbury plays at Tooele Tuesday, hosts Murray Thursday and hosts Tooele Friday.