East Carbon splits in first league contests
Head baseball coach Todd McFarland hoped that his team would start off the season with two league wins. It would not only be a great start, but also would probably eliminate a coin toss for the Region 18 championship at the end of the season.
Unfortunately he was not so lucky.
The Vikings, ranked by some as the best 1A squad in the state, blew past what will probably be their toughest competition for the league title this year, Dugway. Iin the first game of a double header last Friday afternoon, the Vikings won 3-1, but then got clobbered in the second game 11-2.
"I don't really see any of the other teams in the region being strong enough to knock off either us or Dugway, so we will probably both end up 9-1," said the coach disgustedly. "That means a coin toss to decide places at state once again."
The Vikings have been caught in that coin flip scenario before, and too often for McFarland's liking. That's why he was hoping for a better result on Friday.
But it was not to be, and it may have come down to heart.
"There were only two guys on the team that were really upset by the loss of that second game," stated McFarland. "I really worry about our heart."
He apparently needs to worry about the teams pitching as well. In the first game his son, Tony McFarland, threw for the whole game. The big senior hurler threw only 85 pitches in a one hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks. He dominated the Mustangs and things looked good.
The box score looked just as good as Dugway had only one hit and one run with four errors. East Carbon posted three runs on nine hits and only two errors.
The runs were scored by D.J Huitt who was 2 for 3, Samson Leonard who went 3-4 and Austin Preston.
But not all was well. A bad bounce that hit freshman third baseman Bryant Bridge in the face scared everyone.
"He's been a stalwart at third base," said the coach. "After that it just wasn't the same. That kind of thing is tough to shake off."
Maybe it was the warm west desert sun or the constant wind in the face at the Dugway field, but the second game was a whole different story from the first.
"It just proved what I have been worried about ever since the beginning of the season," stated McFarland. "We just didn't do it. We lost our consistency."
Starting in the second game for the Vikings was Andy Farliano. Before the first inning was up the Mustangs had gone up 5-0 on three errors by the East Carbon squad. When the number nine batter for Dugway came up to bat, the coach decided to put his son back on the pitching mound. That held the Mustangs down until the bottom of the second when he took out the senior hurler and put Preston on the mound.
During the next three innings, Dugway again scored time after time. During that time Preston hit four batters and they were walked.
At the end of the fifth inning McFarland once again put his son back in, but things had fallen apart to badly for the Vikings to come back.
"It was terrible," said the coach.
And it was. Dugway put out 11 runs on five hits and no errors. The Vikings only had the two runs on three hits. Worst of all they had six errors, which accounted for most of the runs Dugway amassed.
With that behind them, however, the Vikings may have a cakewalk through the rest of the league schedule. Most of the teams are not as strong this year, and some of the high scores from last Friday in other league games show little defensive pressure.
This Friday the Vikes will face Wasatch Academy at Manti High School's field. The East Carbon squad should dominate the Tigers in the double header, but McFarland is not counting on anything after the ups and downs of last weeks games.
The coin toss he hates still looks better than an outright loss of the top seeding by the loss of more games in the next month.