Mother Nature did everything she could to interfere with Thursday’s American Legion baseball doubleheader at Stansbury High School, but nothing was going to rain on the host Stallions’ hit parade.
Stansbury’s 17-and-under squad racked up 24 runs on 21 hits over 12 innings, sweeping the twinbill against Judge Memorial by scores of 11-9 and 13-1. It represented a marked improvement over recent games in which the Stallions had struggled to get their bats going.
“It was a lot better than Tuesday (against Corner Canyon) — we only scored two runs (in two games),” Stansbury coach Jason Jones said. “We’ll take that. I thought we hit the ball really well, especially in the second game. We hit a lot of line drives and we were on time. We just smashed the ball.”
Stansbury fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of Game 1, but responded with nine unanswered runs to take control of the contest. The Stallions scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, beginning with an RBI single by Ashtyn Blake that scored Peyton Bleazard. Bridger Shields followed with an RBI triple to the fence in left-center, and Jace Carroll hit an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-2. After Tayson Miller drew a walk, Cade Perrenoud ripped a ground-rule double that got stuck under the center-field fence, driving in another run.
A pair of Judge Memorial errors allowed the Stallions to add two more runs in the bottom of the second, and an RBI single by Tyler Harris and an RBI triple by Blake in the fourth made it 9-2.
“They didn’t just hit the ball hard — they were getting extra bases when they can,” Jones said. “That really makes a difference. I can’t say enough about just about everyone.”
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 9-5 in the fifth, taking advantage of three Stansbury errors to score three unearned runs. The Stallions responded with a bases-loaded walk by Nate Nunley that allowed Waldy Torres to score, followed by a sacrifice fly to left by Bleazard that drove in Perrenoud for an 11-5 advantage. Judge Memorial scored four runs in the top of the fifth off Stansbury reliever Brandon Merritt, but Nunley retired three of the four batters he faced to pick up the save.
Carroll was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in four innings. Miller pitched the fifth inning and allowed the three unearned runs on two hits and a hit batter, while Merritt allowed four runs on two hits with two walks and a hit batter in an inning-plus.
Game 2 had no such drama, as Stansbury limited the Bulldogs to a single hit while pounding out 13 of its own. The game was tied 1-1 after one inning, as Harris hit a two-out triple and Blake drove him in with a base hit through the right side of the infield. Errors, walks and hit batters led to three Stallion runs in the second inning. In the third inning, Gage Miller hit an RBI triple to right-center and Perrenoud added an RBI single as part of a five-run outburst, and back-to-back RBI doubles by Blake and Gage Miller helped spark a four-run fourth inning.
Meanwhile, Harris pitched four dominant innings, allowing one unearned run with six strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter. Bleazard pitched the final inning, striking out two and walking one.
“Tyler threw amazing that second game,” Jones said. “It’s always nice to have the more experienced kids come and show these younger kids how to play hard.”
Blake was 4-for-4 in the two games with a double, a triple, a sacrifice fly, four RBIs and three runs scored. Harris was 4-for-7 with a double, a triple, an RBI and five runs scored, and Shields was 4-for-7 with a triple, an RBI and three runs.
Stansbury played host to West Jordan in a doubleheader that was not complete at press time Tuesday afternoon. The Stallions are scheduled to play host to Skyline in another doubleheader June 20.