Carbon High junior Dakota Cisneros helped the Dinos at the plate and on the mound during the opening game 8-0 win over Stansbury on Saturday morning.
The Carbon High Dinos wasted little time in letting their presence be known in the early rounds of the 3A State Baseball Tournament.
Despite a fourth place finish in Region 12 play, the Dinos did not back down from the challenge of playing Stansbury, the undefeated leaders of Region 11 and host of the bracket including CHS.
CHS jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and kept building onto it while playing error-free defense behind a strong four hit shutout performance by senior Dakota Cisneros for an opening game 8-0 win.
"It was a major surprise for Stansbury, but not for us," CHS head coach Troy Moynier said in an interview on Monday afternoon. "We jumped on them pretty quickly and didn't look back."
Moynier called the game a "complete team effort on offense" with multiple players, including seniors Cisneros, Jake Nichols and Jaren McCourt each finishing with a double, contributing for the win.
CHS drew on their experience from two years ago when they finished undefeated in region play only to fall to Morgan High early in the tournament, Moynier said.
"We just felt like we were going to win against Stansbury," he explained.
The relaxed nature displayed in the win carried over into their next game with Park City. CHS got hits from players all over the lineup and kept the pressure on Park City through much of the game. Senior pitchers Julian Tamllos and Nichols combined to help pitch CHS to a 6-2 win on Saturday afternoon.
Now in the quarterfinals, CHS will face off with a familiar foe in nationally ranked and Region 12 leader Spanish Fork on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Kearns High School.
The Dinos were left with a sour taste in their mouth after the two regular season matchups against the Dons. Carbon battled in both games, leading 2-0 going into the sixth inning on April 17 before the Dons used a late game outburst of offense scoring five runs over the next two innings sending CHS to a 5-2 loss at home. Two days later in Spanish Fork, the teams were scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Dons used a four-run inning to put CHS into a deep hole heading into the final inning. CHS was able to get one run across the plate, but it wasn't enough as they lost 4-1.
The losses were a part of a five-game losing streak the Dinos endured during the middle of the season. However, Moynier said the team never lost focus on their goals of advancing far into the State Tournament.
"They (Spanish Fork) will be ready for us," Moynier said.
Moynier said the team needs to continue playing error-free defense and converting with runners in scoring position on offense if they want to get past a tough, seasoned Spanish Fork squad.
"We're right where we want to be," he said. "It's going to be a tough task to beat them. We'll have to play a great game if we want to get a win.