|Senior Tony McFarland continues to be one of the best all around baseball players in the 1A fall leagues this year as he struck out eight batters on Friday afternoon in a game played on the Carbon High field.|
When the rain came down in torrents on Thursday night in Sunnyside it appeared that at least two of East Carbon High School's homecoming activities might be ruined; the homecoming parade at noon on Friday and a double header baseball game with Manila later that day.
But by noon the bright sun had dried out the roads and the parade went on without a hitch. But the Sunnyside baseball field was still a mucky mess. ECH baseball coach Todd McFarland made a call to Carbon High and even though their field had not had much care, other than watering and cutting since the spring, CHS principal Robert Cox told the Viking coach to bring his team, and the Mustangs from Daggett County to their field to play the game.
A quick cut with a lawn mower and a speedy lining job by a Carbon High crew headed by Cox made the field ready for the games by the 2 p.m. start time.
However, on this day it wouldn't have mattered to Manila if they were playing in the super manicured confines of Yankee Stadium. The Mustangs struggled from the get-go. In two games they had no hits in the first contest and only got three hits in the second game as the Viking blanked them in both 15-0.
It could have been worse for the kids from Daggett County; if McFarland had really let the dogs out it easily could have been twin 30-0 scores instead.
The Mustangs, a non-league opponent from Region 16, had actually beat Tintic from Region 18 a couple of weeks ago, giving the Miners their only loss of the year. McFarland and his team were not sure what to expect, although they had their doubts about the Mustang's strength.
Any doubt they had was laid to rest as the Vikes took a 10-0 lead into the second inning. The highlight of that first inning was a home run by Andy Farliano over the left fence on the field he had played on as a Dino last year.
In both games the Mustangs pitching was nonexistent. More throws ended up in the dirt than across home base as the Manila hurlers sent one after another of the East Carbon batters to first base. Then when a pitch was thrown across home plate, the Viking batters ate it up and sent it into the field.
But even worse for the Mustangs, their defense had more holes that a spaghetti drainer as they missed grounders and dropped fly balls more often than they caught them. At one point in the first game two Mustang players both went after a fly ball just behind the base line in right field and collided with each other making a sound like a Green River melon falling on pavement after a fall of 10 feet. No one was seriously injured, but it did scare everyone.
The play of the Mustangs made the game unremarkable, except for the fact that the it was so bad that it became remarkable.
In the first game Tony McFarland pitched until the fourth inning and then freshman Bryant Bridge threw. McFarland had eight strike outs while Bridge had three.
East Carbon registered 13 hits and no errors in that contest. The Mustangs had no hits and the scorers stopped counting after their first three errors.
In the second game, Samson Leonard hit an in-the-park home run and McFarland had three hits, all doubles.
Austin Preston pitched the entire second game and had five strike outs. The Vikes had fourteen hits and no errors. Manila ended up with three hits and two errors.
"That was a hard couple of games to play," said coach McFarland. "It's not good for players to face an opponent who is not up to the competition. I knew they were not too strong, but they had beaten Tintic who is tied with us for the league lead. You just never know."
East Carbon is now 8-1 overall and faces Wendover in the state line town on Friday.
"With Dugway losing it looks good for us to win the region, but we have to be careful," said the coach about the rest of the season.
East Carbon has only one regular home contest left when they face Tintic on Sept. 27.