A long afternoon of baseball turned into great memories for Stansbury on Senior Day, and somewhat of a nightmare for Grantsville.
The Cowboys appeared headed to a 9-1 region record and a stranglehold on first place in league play with a 3-0 advantage over Stansbury headed to the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday at Stansbury.
But the Stallions came back and tied the contest with three runs in the last inning of regulation. Stansbury then won it 4-3 with a run in bottom of the 11th inning. The game ran for about three hours, thirty minutes.
“It really was a crazy game. One of those games where both teams play well, and you hate to see anybody lose. But we sure were glad and fortunate to be able to win it,” said Stansbury coach Ray Clinton.
After the dust settled Friday, Grantsville still had a slight lead in the standings at 8-2. Stansbury and Bear River sit at 8-3. The Cowboys still can win the region title outright with a victory over Ben Lomond on Tuesday followed by a win over Bear River on Friday. Both games will be on the Grantsville diamond.
Stansbury could still tie for the title if it defeats Tooele on Tuesday, and if Bear River beats Grantsville.
“We just have to rebound from a tough loss and not let it be a downfall for us,” said Grantsville coach Loren Anderson. “We didn’t play bad, we just missed out on some scoring opportunities. We don’t have to worry about any of the tiebreaker formulas if we just take care of our games this week against Ben Lomond and Bear River.”
The first-seed from Region 11 will host a state playoff game on Saturday, May 10.
Grantsville pitcher Dillon Hutchins had a shutout going until the bottom of the seventh. But he gave up a single to Jacob Colovich, walk to Ian Calder and single to Jace Myers to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Wyatt Barrus came on in relief with the bases loaded and fired a pair of wild pitches to score Colovich and Calder. Jacob Petersen walked and Dakota Thayne came in to run for Jacob Petersen.
Barrus almost pitched out the jam with his team on top 3-2 when he struck out Daniel Napier and Nick Mackay. With two outs, Kyle Lindsley singled up the middle to score Myers to tie the game after seven complete innings.
Both teams had chances to end it before the 11th.
Grantsville left two on base in the ninth. Stansbury had a runner at second with two outs in the ninth, but GHS shortstop Nick Arbon robbed an RBI with great grab behind second base to get the third out. Grantsville had two on in the 10th with two outs when Dallin Williams ripped a line shot to the gap which was chased down and snagged by outfielder Calder to shut down the rally.
Stansbury ended it in the 11th with a leadoff single by Myers. Then with one out, Napier singled to right which appeared to put runners on the corners. But the ball was bobbled by the GHS right fielder and Myers raced home with the winning run.
Grantsville struck first with two runs in the fourth inning. Hutchins smacked a one-out double, and Wyatt Smith followed with an infield single. Clay Matthew slapped a single to left to score Kyle Peterson running for Hutchins and Smith.
The Cowboys pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fifth when Williams ripped a double down the right-field line. Arbon and Barrus also reached to load the bases. Hutchins knocked in Williams with a sacrifice fly to right field. The rally ended when the Stallions turned a double play.
Myers pitched five complete innings for the Stallions, and was replaced by Trent Griffin who pitched the sixth and seventh innings. Colovich finished it off with four scoreless innings to pick up the victory on the mound.
“Jace pitched a good game; it was only his second start of the season. He kept them off-balance,” Clinton said. “Trent is still recovering from an ankle injury in a Tooele game. He can’t hit or field so we had to take him out after just two innings.”
Barrus also is recovering from an injury. “He hasn’t thrown for a couple of weeks so it took him a while to get going when we brought him in,” said the GHS coach.
The Cowboys plan to use three pitchers in what should be an easy win at home against Ben Lomond on Tuesday. Then they would have Barrus, Hutchins and Matt Garrard all ready to go for Friday’s showdown against Bear River.
Stansbury plans to pitch Gage Manzione against Tooele on Tuesday, and Griffin should be ready to pitch at Salem Hills on Thursday.