Grantsville head coach Loren Anderson didn’t have much to say after the Cowboys didn’t earn any runs during Tuesday’s 5-3 home loss to Stansbury.
“We were just average,” he said. “We’ve just got to play a little better against good teams.”
Stansbury took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Grantsville ace Wyatt Barrus walked leadoff hitter Gavin Skogg on four-straight pitches, and Skogg promptly stole second, where he was batted in by a single to right right by second baseman Kyle Lindsley.
The Cowboys matched the score in the bottom half of the frame.
With Barrus on first from a leadoff single, right fielder Kyle Peterson hit a ball to Stansbury shortstop — and former Grantsville slugger — Clay Matthews. Matthews’ throw to first went into the fence, allowing Barrus to cross the plate and Peterson to reach third.
An inning later, Grantsville catcher Burke Boman was hit by a pitch and later scored when Stansbury catcher Matt McIntyre overthrew a pickoff attempt to third, making it 2-1 Cowboys.
“It was a good team-quality win,” said head coach Ray Clinton. “We’ve just got to tighten up the defense.”
McIntyre later left the game with an injured hip in the top of the sixth inning, going 2-3 with one strikeout.
Stansbury outfielder Mitch McIntyre hit a one-out single to center and advanced to second on a fielding error, scoring a few batters later when first baseman Jacob “Bubba” Petersen hit the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI single.
In the top of the fourth, Matthews walked from the leadoff spot and was batted in by Skogg’s chopper to short to make it 3-2 Stansbury.
“I love Clay down at Stansbury, we’re very glad he decided to join us down there with his move,” said senior pitcher Gage Manzione. “He played really good against Grantsville, his old team. He came up big with a double in his first at bat.”
The bottom of the fourth may have been Grantsville’s undoing. Coy Johnson and Riley Jensen both hit infield singles, but first baseman Kolby Leach popped up a bunt to the catcher for the first out. Boman struck out next before Barrus walked, and Braydon Peterson struck out to end the inning with the bases loaded and no runs scored.
Petersen loaded the bases for the Stallions with a single through the left side of the infield during the fifth inning, paving the way for Jacob Colovich and Matthews to drive in an RBI single each to make it 5-2 before the inning ended.
Barrus hit a sliding double from the leadoff spot in the bottom of the final inning, and reached home on a passed ball that turned into a throwing error by Lindsley, who moved over from second to be a replacement catcher after Matt McIntyre’s injury an inning before.
Manzione earned the win in the complete game, striking out nine batters and walking five, allowing six hits.
Barrus walked three batters and struck out four in the loss, allowing 11 hits and striking out four.
“Me and Wyatt go back a ways, back into little league football,” Manzione said. “We have a good rivalry between us, so it feels pretty good to beat him. He’s an amazing baseball player, 3A MVP.”
Offensively, Barrus went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, two runs and a double. Jensen and Leach each went 1-for-2 with a walk. Boman was struck out twice but scored after a walk.
Manzione went 2-for-3 for Stansbury, getting a single and a double with one walk. Lindsley went 2-for-4 with two singles. Petersen went 2-for-4 and might have had a triple in the seventh inning if the wind had been blowing another direction instead of lining the ball into Peterson’s glove to start a 9-4-3 double play. Matthews went 2-for-2 in his return to his old school and was walked once before scoring in the fourth inning.
“We wanted to go out there and make them make plays,” Manzione said.
Grantsville is now 4-9 and 2-1 in Region 11. Stansbury is 6-7 and 3-2. The two teams will play each other again Friday at Stansbury.