With a number of its top players on the roster of the Tooele County Bears, the Tooele baseball team has had to turn to its underclassmen for the bulk of its summer schedule.
And while that hasn’t translated into a lot of success in terms of wins and losses, there have been many positive signs in terms of development with a roster made up mainly of sophomores and juniors-to-be. On Monday night, that development translated into a winning result on the scoreboard, as the Buffaloes defeated Kearns 7-5 in six innings in summer league action at Dow James Park.
The victory was Tooele’s second of the summer and first since June 6. The Buffs (2-7) avenged an earlier loss to the Cougars (3-6), who defeated Tooele 4-0 on June 7.
Sophomore Jake Hervat was dominant in a complete-game effort, allowing just one earned run on six hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks before the game was called because of darkness early in the seventh inning. Tooele committed six errors that resulted in four unearned runs for Kearns, but Hervat was able to work his way out of several jams as the Cougars stranded five runners in scoring position.
After Kearns took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning, the Buffs seized the lead with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Hervat tied the game with an RBI groundout, and after Brock Beer’s single, Mason Donadio drove in another run with a single up the middle. Micah Weight’s single set up Austin Avery’s two-run double to right.
Kearns scored an unearned run in the top of the second to cut the lead to 4-2, only to have the Buffs answer with two runs of their own. Garrett Palmer hit a leadoff single and a Cougar error gave Tooele runners on first and second. Hagen Bowen’s bunt single leaded the bases, and Palmer scored on a passed ball before Beer drove in another run on a groundout.
Weight led off the third inning with a single, and he scored on another Kearns error to put the Buffs up 7-3. The Cougars scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth — one on a throwing error following a leadoff triple, the other on a two-out balk — to cap the scoring.
Weight finished 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored, and Bowen was 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Tooele will travel to Bountiful for a game Wednesday evening.