It is shaping up to be a special summer for the Stansbury baseball team, with success that bodes well for next spring’s high school season.
While Monday’s 18-9 loss to Farmington in American Legion action wasn’t the Stallions’ best showing, they were unbeatable in the Cache Valley Diamond Classic in Logan from Thursday through Saturday. Stansbury won five games in three days, outscoring its opponents 49-14 and winning each contest by at least four runs.
“We had a lot of guys step up,” Stallions coach Jason Jones said. “We took 17 players with us and we used every single player.”
Stansbury (9-2) defeated the CV Sox 11-7 in Saturday’s championship game, riding the momentum of a four-run third inning and a six-run fourth. Colton Sundloff’s bases-clearing double in the third got the Stallions started. Cayden Clark homered and Austin Woodhouse and Jace Carroll each doubled in the fourth.
Carroll picked up the win on the mound, allowing two runs on three hits with one strikeout and one walk in three innings. Bridger Shields, Bryant Nicholes, Sundloff and Ashtyn Blake all made relief pitching appearances to help the Stallions maintain their lead.
“We had a ton of pitchers throw for us and it just seemed like everyone stepped up at the right moment,” Jones said.
The Stallions reached the championship game after a 13-3 win over Green Canyon earlier Saturday. In that contest, Clark tripled, Peyton Bleazard singled and Woodhouse doubled as part of a four-run third inning that put the Stallions in front for good. Braydon Allie, Sundloff, Bleazard, Clark and Carroll each had multiple hits, with Allie going 4-for-4.
Gage Miller was the winning pitcher, allowing one hit with three strikeouts and a walk in one inning. Nicholes and Ethan Wayman each pitched in relief.
SHS opened the tournament with a 13-0 win over the CV Grizzlies in pool play. Carroll and Nicholes combined for the shutout, allowing just two hits. The Stallions pounded out 15 hits of their own, led by Carroll’s 3-for-3 effort. Shields, Sundloff and 2019 SHS graduate Woodhouse each had multiple hits in the win, which included an eight-run outburst in the fourth inning.
On Friday, the Stallions defeated Roy 7-3 with a seven-run fourth inning. Allie started the surge with a sacrifice fly, and Carroll followed with a two-run double. Nate Nunley drove in another run on a fielder’s choice and Bleazard added an RBI single. Allie and Miller each had multiple hits for SHS.
Wayman was the winning pitcher, allowing one run in two innings in relief of Clark. Clark yielded two runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts, and Sundloff pitched one-third of an inning.
Stansbury wrapped up pool play with a 5-1 win over Trappers 2 on Friday. Shields was the winning pitcher with two perfect innings, striking out two. Kimball Thorpe and Brandon Merritt also had solid pitching outings in relief. Woodhouse, Daxton Nakken, Carroll, Miller, Thorpe, Sundloff and Trent Jones each had a hit in the win.
“We were playing against some good competition — teams that we’ll face in the playoffs in the summer and during high school season,” Jason Jones said. “It really helps to play in a tournament like that.”
The Stallions’ 10 pitchers posted a team earned-run average of 2.57 for the tournament. That stingy effort on the mound combined with an offense that hit .390 and posted a slugging percentage of 1.039. Carroll was 8-for-14 (.571) with four doubles and 10 RBIs, while Allie was 7-for-13 (.538) with two triples and three RBIs and Clark was 7-for-16 (.438) with a home run, two triples, a double and seven RBIs. Miller was 5-for-12 (.417) at the plate for the weekend.
However, Stansbury ran out of steam on Monday night, playing its sixth game in five days. The Stallions’ offense was in top form, led by Clark’s two-run home run in the first inning and Carroll’s grand slam in the fifth, but seven errors and an exhausted pitching staff combined to spell doom for SHS.
“This is our 11th game in two weeks,” Jason Jones said. “I think we’re out of gas and definitely out of arms. They gave it their all and they battled, but we just definitely did have enough tonight. You can learn from these types of games. They’re not pretty and they’re definitely not fun to watch, but hopefully we can learn from it and get better.”
Clark’s home run gave the Stallions an early 2-0 lead, and they stretched it to 4-1 in the third on Tyler Harris’ two-run triple. Farmington responded with four runs in the fourth off SHS relievers Zane Bryant and Blake, taking a 5-4 lead that swelled to 7-4 in the fifth. Carroll’s two-out grand slam after a single by Sundloff and back-to-back walks by Miller and Harris briefly restored the Stallions’ lead at 8-7, but fatigue set in and the Phoenix scored 11 runs over the final two innings against Blake, Nicholes and Will Hinton.
Frustration also was a factor for the Stallions, as several close calls didn’t go in their favor and tempers boiled over.
“We need to be better about forgetting about calls and just playing baseball,” said Jason Jones, who was ejected after a brief argument with the home-plate umpire. “I need to do a better job of that. You live and you learn.”
Fortunately for the Stallions, they didn’t have much time to dwell on Monday’s loss. They were scheduled to face Bountiful at home Tuesday evening after press time, with another game Wednesday in Bountiful against Viewmont.
“We need to be ready and prepared,” Jason Jones said. “It definitely helps to be back on the field after a tough one like that.”