A summer baseball season that almost didn’t happen is rounding third base and heading for home this weekend.
Stansbury’s baseball team, fresh off a two-game sweep against Cedar Valley on Monday, will resume its pursuit of a 19-and-under American Legion state championship Friday at 10 a.m. against Pleasant Grove. Meanwhile, Grantsville will take part in its Salt Lake County league’s season-ending tournament Friday and Saturday, with games against Brighton, Murray and Summit Academy on the schedule.
The Stallions, who finished at the top of their region in summer play, demolished Cedar Valley 15-1 and 10-0 in a pair of five-inning games to move on to the Legion tournament’s double-elimination rounds. Stansbury is the No. 5 seed, and will face No. 12 Pleasant Grove at Pleasant Grove High School. The Vikings are a perennial power in Class 6A, but Stansbury is excited for the challenge.
“Whatever their role is, they go out and compete,” Stansbury coach Jason Jones said on Monday evening. “We’ve got guys pulling for each other, and I like our chances.”
A Stansbury victory would propel the Stallions into a second-round matchup on Saturday at 3 p.m. against the winner of Friday’s game between No. 4 Herriman and No. 13 Helper at Pleasant Grove High. If the Stallions lose to Pleasant Grove, they would play the loser of the Herriman-Helper game in an elimination contest Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper. The state tournament is scheduled to continue with the quarterfinal round on Monday, the semifinals on Tuesday and the championship on Wednesday, with an if-necessary game slated for July 22.
Other teams remaining in the tournament include No. 1 Cache Valley, No. 2 Salem Hills, No. 3 Lone Peak, No. 6 Hurricane, No. 7 Taylorsville, No. 8 Vernal, No. 9 Mountain Crest, No. 10 Bountiful, No. 11 Pine View, No. 14 Farmington, No. 15 Logan and No. 16 Lehi. Alta, West Jordan, American Fork, Mountain View, Wasatch, Tooele, Bear River, Green Canyon, Ridgeline, Morgan, Corner Canyon, Jordan, Cedar Valley, Maple Mountain, Box Elder and American Leadership Academy were eliminated in best-of-three series, while North Cache, Viewmont and Providence Hall lost play-in games.
Grantsville will face a trio of familiar foes in its season-ending tournament. The Cowboys will open tournament play with a game against Brighton at 3:30 at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, having split two previous meetings with the Bengals. At 7 p.m. Friday, the Cowboys will take on Murray at Ken Price Field, the Spartans’ home diamond where the teams met nine days earlier. On Saturday, Grantsville will face Region 13 foe Summit Academy at 2 p.m. at Ken Price Field.
“That’s why we’re in this league,” Grantsville coach Aaron Perkins said last week. “It doesn’t do us any good to go play teams that we know we can beat. We’re playing teams that we can beat and we’re competing with them, but it’s not easy. We’re playing good teams. I love the growth of our young guys this summer.”