Dinos lose out on region championship
|Jamal Lewis, seen batting here in the last home game with Delta was one of the bright spots in the 8-7 loss to the Rabbits on Monday night in Millard County. He hit a home run in the contest.|
Monday dawned bright and shiny for the Carbon Dinos baseball squad, but by the time daylight had faded it had turned into black Monday, and that wasn't because the team was riding home on a dark bus from Delta.
In a game that originally should have been played last Friday, the Rabbits edged the Dinos 8-7, thereby eliminating any chance of another Region 8 title.
But this odyssey the Dinos faced on Monday was more bizarre than anything they had seen in a long time. First was the long ride on a Monday afternoon to a site that was racked by wind and rain on Friday, thereby changing the date of play.
After that three hour bus trip the team then had to sit around the field for five hours while the Delta people tried to find someone to officiate the game. Play didn't begin until 7 p.m.
Delta is not a bad team, in fact they are a very good team. But all the factors together worked against Carbon. However, initially it didn't look that way.
In the first inning Carbon brought five runs across the plate and held Delta scoreless. Maybe Dino players had visions of 30 runs in the game or something, but that may have not been a good thing to have happen. To easy, too fast.
The Rabbits began to chip away at the lead in the third inning when they scored three runs themselves.
But Carbon came right back in the fifth and the top of the seventh inning putting across two more runs.
With the bottom of the seventh looming and behind 7-3, it would have been easy for the Delta team to give up. But they didn't.
Led by Brian Smith who hit a two run homer in the inning the Delta kids put five runs across the plate and it was over. They had triumphed in an almost unprecedented rally over a defensively minded Carbon squad.
Amazingly, tired Carbon players committed no errors during the game. All the runs Delta scored were earned. It was just one of those days.
One of the bright spots in the game was a home run by Jamal Lewis, who continues his good play game after game.
The loss puts Carbon solidly in second place with only Emery on the regular league schedule in a game that will be played Friday on the Dinofield at 3:30 p.m.
Win or lose on Friday, the Dinos will move to a play-in game (the first round of the state tournament is played at the superior seedings home field) on May 3 at 4 p.m. at home.
"Even with this loss we are in good playoff position," said head Carbon baseball coach Lane Herrick. "We will still get the first game at home and the way it appears we will probably face Dixie in that game."
Dixie, the present Region 9 number three team is in a league where Hurricane, Pine View, Snow Canyon and the Flyers have all been beating each other up.
If Carbon wins that game they will most probably face Bear River, currently the second ranked 3A team in the state behind Park City on May 9. The state tournament is being held at the Spanish Fork baseball complex this year.
Bear River leads Region 11 with a 6-0 league and 12-3 overall record. The Bears were one of the teams the Dinos defeated on their way to the state championship in St. George last year and they would like nothing more than to change that outcome this year.
"The way it is shaping up, Region 8 could sweep the tournament," stated Herrick on Wednesday morning. "It appears Lehi could take their bracket. It looks like they will start with Hurricane and could move through to the championship game."
The bracket Lehi will be playing in as the number one seed is weaker than the one Carbon will be in. Their bracket includes only one ranked team, Tooele, and traditionally strong Snow Canyon, whom the Dinos defeated for the state crown last season.
The Dinos bracket will have number one ranked Park City (whom Carbon lost to in the preseason) and of course Bear River.
While the Emery game on Friday is somewhat meaningless as far as the regular standings go, a win for the Dinos would give a good push into state.
Carbon fans also have a unique chance to not only easily watch their team play their first state game at home, but also only have to go 60 miles to see them play in the state tournament in two weeks, barring a loss in the first game.