There were times in Thursday’s season opener when it was obvious that the Stansbury baseball team hadn’t had a lot of fielding practice, thanks in large part to winter weather that rendered the Stallions’ home field unplayable until just before game time.
However, the Stallions also showed some positive signs — namely resilience — as they scraped together a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to salvage a 6-5 win over Viewmont.
“A win’s a win,” Stansbury coach Ray Clinton said. “The pitchers threw well, and I’m excited about that.”
The Stallions (1-2) found themselves behind 3-0 entering the bottom of the second inning after Viewmont (0-1) hit an RBI single in the first inning and back-to-back RBI singles in the second. Stansbury’s offense then came to life with four runs in the bottom of the second, beginning with Cayden Clark’s leadoff single. Jayson Blake was hit by a pitch, and Clark and Blake moved into scoring position on Connor Fackrell’s sacrifice bunt. Clark scored on Konner Mason’s fielder’s choice, and Mason later scored on an infield single by Austin Woodhouse. Woodhouse and Braydon Allie scored on an RBI single by Conner Kincaid to put the Stallions in front.
Hayden Beck scored on a groundout by Fackrell in the third to stretch the lead to 5-3, but the Stallions’ struggles in the field allowed the Vikings to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Four Stansbury errors and a bunt single led to two Viewmont runs, which Clinton said was a result of not having a lot of practice time.
“We haven’t even taken a ground ball off the field yet,” Clinton said. “(Thursday) was our first live action on the field because of the wetness and the field conditions, so it was bound to happen. Two of them were bunts and we haven’t even practiced bunt coverages yet.”
Stansbury retook the lead in the bottom of the frame, with Clark leading off with an infield single and advancing to third on a wayward pickoff attempt. He scored on Fackrell’s single to center field.
“I don’t think (Clark’s) was the longest hit we had, with the little blooper over the pitcher’s head,” Clinton said. “It worked, then they threw the ball away and we got the ground ball up the middle. We did a lot of things right offensively.”
Senior Justin Matthews, pitching in relief of starter Kaden Nicholes, slammed the door from there. Matthews picked up the win, allowing two unearned runs on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk in three innings. Nicholes allowed three total runs — one earned — on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in four innings.
Clark was 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored, and Fackrell and Kincaid each had a pair of RBIs.
Stansbury’s next game is Wednesday at Hillcrest.