Cedar falls on Carbon, Bear River ends Dino title run
|Pitcher Troy Grundy and catcher Joe Via rush a bunt during the Dixie game while first baseman Mike Smith makes room for the throw. Carbon defeated the Flyers 2-1 to open the state games in Spanish Fork, but lost the following two games to be eliminated from the state tournament.|
After a promising start to the state tournament games in Spanish Fork, Carbon lost back-to-back contests to be eliminated from a shot at the state title.
The Dinos opened their Thursday matchup with a big mistake in the first inning, allowing one Flyer to make it around the bases on double followed by an error, putting Dixie up 1-0.
Dixie would maintain command of the game until the fourth inning when pitcher Troy Grundy forwarded his own cause at the plate.
After catcher Joe Via dug out an infield hit to give Carbon a baserunner, Grundy took a pitch the other way, dropping a double into right field and setting up Carbon for a lead-taking inning.
Tyler Nelson and Adam Martinez didn't disappoint. Each brought home a Dino with RBI singles.
With the win, Carbon needed only to win one more to secure a spot in the state championship game.
If the Dinos won their 4:30 p.m. Friday game, any team would have to beat them twice to earn state title rights.
It was not to be, however. Despite Carbon's best efforts, Cedar City overtook the Dinos in the fourth inning and never relinquished the lead.
The Redmen would enjoy a view from the top while Carbon and Bear River fought to join them in the championship game.
Bear River had other plans, though. After knocking Carbon from the tournament in a 9-5 win, the Bears went on to defeat Cedar twice and take the title in an unprecedented comeback.
Carbon coach Lane Herrick said he felt the team had a pretty good tournament, despite the losses, and that they just got beat by two better teams.
"It's a fine line between taking the tournament and not taking it," he stated. "We just fell a little short."
Carbon will lose two members of its pitching staff in seniors Grundy and Mike Smith.
However, Herrick said he is optimistic in the players that will be returning.
Adam Martinez, who pitched a strong game against Cedar City, will return for two more seasons of Dino ball and several young pitchers are on their way up from the junior varsity.
Ten juniors will also be returning as seniors.