With a number of its top players out of the lineup because of football camps and other responsibilities, it has been a tough summer for the Stansbury baseball team in terms of wins and losses.
But when those upperclassmen are able to suit up for the Stallions, it’s a different story. On Wednesday evening at Stansbury High School, the boys in blue pounded out 10 hits and got a solid complete-game pitching effort from Conner Kincaid in an 11-5 win over Highland in summer-league action.
“I think every game that we’ve had our seniors here, we’ve scored 10-plus runs,” Stansbury coach Ray Clinton said. “That’s pretty impressive. When we’ve got our guys here, we’re 3-0-1, and if they’d been here the whole (summer), who knows where we’d be.”
Kincaid also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Stallions (4-6-1). On the mound, he allowed four earned runs on 10 hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
“My fastball was working really well today and my curve, when it’s on, I feel really confident,” Kincaid said. “My defense was playing really well. Everything was just clicking.”
The bottom of the Stallions’ lineup jump-started the offense in the third inning. Jay Vargas, batting in the No. 9 spot in the lineup, led off with a single to left field, and No. 10 hitter Hunter Luke followed with a walk. No. 11 hitter Isaac Hecker reached on a bunt single to load the bases, turning the lineup over.
“You usually don’t have 11 guys batting in a baseball game,” Clinton said. “The bottom of the lineup helped us out. We had 11 guys and I figured that whoever I put in there could hit the ball.”
Austin Woodhouse and Kincaid drew back-to-back, bases-loaded walks with one out to make it 2-0, and Jayden Kelsch followed with a two-run double to left. Connor Fackrell’s sacrifice fly extended the lead to 5-0.
Highland (3-6-1) cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fourth, but Stansbury answered in the bottom of the fifth with six more runs. Logan Soderborg led off with a walk, and after Woodhouse also reached on a walk, Kincaid hit an RBI single to left. Kelsch walked to load the bases and Fackrell and Bailey Hunter hit back-to-back RBI singles to stretch the lead. Fackrell scored on an error and Hunter came home on a wild pitch to make it 11-3.
“Compared to the regular season, I feel like we’re having more fun as a team,” Kincaid said. “There’s less stress and we’re playing well together. When people are relaxed at the plate and they’re having fun, that’s when we get hits and everything works.”
Highland rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh, and had the bases loaded with one out, but Kincaid got out of the jam as the Rams grounded into a fielder’s choice and hit a fly ball that was caught by Soderborg in left field.
There will be no summer-league games next week because of the Utah High School Activities Association’s mandatory summer moratorium. Stansbury’s next game will be July 9 at Bountiful.