The Grantsville baseball team won its second Region 13 championship in a row this spring — no small feat in a league that also included the Class 3A runner-up in Summit Academy and a tough Judge Memorial squad that split four meetings with the Cowboys.
The talented players who made the Cowboys’ run to the region title possible were rewarded when the league’s coaches voted on the All-Region 13 squad following the conclusion of the season. Junior Parker Thomas was named the Region 13 Most Valuable Player, while seniors Ethan Merrill and Isaac Riding were joined by junior Taylor Wood and sophomore Josh Staley on the First Team. Two more juniors, Chace Gipson and Jackson Sandberg, were named to the Second Team.
Thomas was a dominant force in all facets of the game for Grantsville. He posted a .488 batting average with 15 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 30 RBIs and 29 runs scored, good for a slugging percentage of .825. He also drew 16 walks, contributing to a .613 on-base percentage, and he stole eight bases.
Thomas committed just two errors in the field all season on 43 opportunities, and he was the ace of Grantsville’s pitching staff with a 2.35 earned-run average in 50 2/3 innings pitched. He recorded 66 strikeouts against just 14 walks, and opposing batters hit .256 off of him.
Merrill was another key piece of the Cowboys’ pitching puzzle with a 3.11 ERA and a 5-3 record. He pitched 36 innings over eight appearances, striking out 32 and walking 20 with opponents hitting .221 off of him. He also made an impact at the plate, hitting .321 with eight doubles and 21 RBIs.
Riding hit .365 with six doubles, two triples, 27 RBIs and 23 runs scored this season, and was hit by 13 pitches for an on-base percentage of .479. He was also a threat on the basepaths, recording 11 stolen bases, and he played solid defense at first base, committing just three errors in 102 chances.
Wood hit .351 with five doubles, a triple, 15 RBIs and 21 runs scored to go with 10 walks. On the mound, he posted a 3.28 ERA in 10 2/3 innings over nine appearances with a .256 opposing batting average.
In his first season of varsity baseball, Staley hit .328 with 29 runs scored and 11 RBIs, adding six doubles and seven stolen bases. He had an impressive .531 on-base percentage, as he drew 10 walks and was hit by a pitch 20 times.
Gipson played flawless defense with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Offensively, he hit .275 with four doubles, 17 RBIs and 19 runs scored as well as 10 stolen bases.
Sandberg pitched 25 2/3 innings for the Cowboys with a 2-2 record and a 3.27 ERA. When he wasn’t pitching, he was behind the plate as Grantsville’s regular catcher and he had a .981 fielding percentage on 157 total chances. He hit .338 with seven doubles, two home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 runs scored.