|Tony McFarland pitches during one of the contests with Wayne High on Monday afternoon on East Carbon's home field.|
The year that Carbon High hoped to have could very well be the year that East Carbon has this year.
Everyone expected East Carbon to be a strong contender for the state baseball 1A title this year, but almost no one expected what would happen at the beginning of the season
As of the first game of a double header on Monday afternoon the Vikings from East Carbon had beat every opponent they have faced in the last week, except one.
"That one loss was to Panguitch in the second game of their tournament at the end of last week," said head baseball coach Todd McFarland. "They used their best line up and I decided to use our JV to give them some experience."
That was the reason for the 19-6 loss to the Wildcats on Friday afternoon. But the rest of the scores the Vikings have recorded against some formidable foes shows they have what it takes to go all the way.
The first thing the team did was go to the Westridge Tournament on Aug. 13 and 14. There is usually a tough group of teams that play at this preseason tourney, and it was the same this year. Turned out that East Carbon was the toughest of the bunch. They won the tournament by beating Panguitch (using varsity players that time) 9-6, then taking on Region 18 rival Dugway whom they beat 7-4 and finally crushing Waterford 9-6.
Tony McFarland got the Ironman Award at the tourney (basically the most valuable player award). He got the most base hits and a home run during play there. The team also had four of it's players named to the nine player all-star team: McFarland of course, D.J. Huitt, Andy Farliano (who played for Carbon last year and is now attending East Carbon), and Samson Leonard.
In the game against Panguitch McFarland had 10 strikeouts.
In Panguitch later in the week East Carbon beat Waterford 14-4 before falling to Panguitch in the "varsity-JV" game mentioned earlier.
Monday afternoon brought wind and even a little rain to East Carbon's field, along with the Wayne Badgers. The game began with McFarland pitching. After two innings it was tied 1-1, but in the fourth the Vikings broke it open with a six single inning going up 5-1.
But in the fifth inning some errors allowed the Wayne County kids to come back and get it down to a one run lead. But when East Carbon came back up to bat they quickly made it 6-4. As of press time, they still held onto that lead with one inning to go.
"I'm a little worried because we started out so strong, but seem to be digressing a little over the last couple of games," said McFarland.
It's a sure bet the rest of the 1A teams in the state hope he is right.