Dinos trample weekend competition to open state tourney
|A Snow Canyon fielder holds the tag on Carbon's Chase Julian during Saturday's state tournament home site game. The Dinos defeated the Warriors 6-0 with the help of a one-hitter pitching performance by Troy Grundy.|
Three more to go.
Carbon gathered two of the five wins it will need to waltz through the 3A state baseball tournament, which begins this Thursday in Spanish Fork.
In the two, first round state tournament games Carbon hosted on Saturday, the Dinos took advantage of the home field rights they had earned through a flawless Region 8 season, defeating Tooele and Snow Canyon to advance to the state tournament without a loss.
Fourth seeded Tooele did not go down without a fight, though.
The Tooele Buffaloes battled a number during the regular season, including ineligibity, injury and run-ins with the law.
Thirteen members of the club missed multiple games due to legal actions taken against them for playing a round of golf on the local American Legion baseball field.
It seems the baker's dozen were upset when Legion organizers would not allow them to play their games on the field and were acting out.
As a result, the strong Tooele team took the Region 11 fourth seed when it was more legitimately a one or two seed.
"We got a tough draw in Tooele and they played like it," coach Lane Herrick commented.
The two teams traded runs for several innings, with each playing musical chairs in the bull pen trying to find the right combination.
Tyler Nelson highlighted the game with a 486 foot three-run homer in the first to give Carbon their first lead. Nelson would add another two-run shot in the Snow Canyon game.
It was the Dinos' offense that finally made the breakthrough, scoring five in the bottom of the fifth and putting the team at a safe distance.
Carbon won 12-7.
A few hours later, Snow Canyon would succumb to the same fate in a Carbon win that excluded most of the heartburn.
Troy Grundy nearly closed out a no-hitter against the Warriors. A sharp hit late in the seventh ended the run.
Carbon won 6-0 behind 14 Grundy Ks.
The Dinos will play Dixie High at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday for the opening game in Spanish Fork.
Last season, Dixie knocked Carbon from the tournament with a 4-2 victory.
The winner of the game will be then matched against the winner of the Cedar-Wasatch game.
Herrick said in preparation of the weekend, practice will proceed regularly but his hurlers will go lightly and take advantage of a few days of rest.