|Carbon's Matt Jewkes slides back into first after taking a leadoff during the game against Wasatch on Thursday. Jewkes was the winning pitcher in the game.|
It's hard being number one. Being number one always means watching your back. It means everyone on your block as well as other peoples blocks are out to get you. It means you must live up to a reputation and one loss can change everything.
Never mind that Carbon High won the state championship last year and has been ranked number one in the state ever since the beginning of the season last year.
That just seems to make all the others try harder. They want to prove they can beat the top team.
It also means that often teams leave Carbon County unhappy and last week two teams from Region 10 did just that. In the course of two days the Dinos blasted out runs, showed some great defense and threw in some glib pitching to drub Wasatch 19-9 on Thursday and then whip Union 6-2 on Friday.
On a kind of leave from Region 8 for a few days, Carbon played their hearts out instead of taking time off from the usual path. These games meant little in the standings, but a lot to the young men who played the games.
Thursday's game was particularly unusual. This version of the Dino baseball team has had a propensity to let other teams break the ice and score on them early, and then as if solving a puzzle the Dinos pick the other team apart and win anyway.
In Thursdays game it was the other way around for awhile.
"That was a strange game," said coach Lane Herrick during the Friday contest with Union. "We got up by six runs in the first inning. By the end of the second inning they were ahead of us 9-6."
Carbon went on however to score six runs in the fourth and seven more in the fifth to wipe out any chances of the Wasps winning. In fact the 19-9 score also took away the last two innings of the game based on the ever present 10 run rule (a state rule that eliminated further play if one team is ahead of the other by 10 or more runs by the end of the fifth inning).
It also seems that different heros emerge each time this team plays. This time it was first baseman Jeff Anderson who came out as the man at the wheel. He had three hits, which included both a double and a home run. In his endeavor to hit the ball he drove in four runs. If Anderson was the captain of the ship on this day, then Blake Wilde was certainly first mate as he not only pitched but also had two doubles and drove in three runs in the process. And don't forget Jamal Lewis, either. He also had a homer to add to his average.
On the down side Carbon committed seven errors, by far the most in at least two seasons in a single game.
|Chris Hatch goes in for a slide at second base as the Union Cougar baseman tries to nab the ball and tag him in Friday afternoons game. The Union player missed the ball and it rolled well beyond second, but not enough for Hatch to head to third.|
When Friday's game came with the Cougars from Roosevelt, no one was sure how the Dinos would respond. It was the first time they had to play two games in two days since the Montrose Tournament, and the slugfest the day before could have worn them out. However, by the time Union was able to score, Carbon was well ahead of their opponents and the Cougars never threatened the lead after that.
The first inning ended in double zeros and neither team was able to score. But in the second and third innings Carbon notched in two runs each making it 4-0 by the end of the third.
Union was finally able to get on the board times two in the fourth, but by that time it was all over as Carbon put up a five and and six on the scoreboard in the next two innings while pitcher Josh Greenwood rose to the occasion and shut down the Cougar offense by striking out eight Union batters.
Bats, were not as good as Thursdays performance, but they were still more than enough to bury the kids from the Roosevelt area. Jeff Jorgensen had a double, Matt Jewkes, the winning pitcher from the day before had a triple and Wilde became the skipper of the ship for a day as he belted out a home run.
Now it's back to the Region 8 grind with a game against Emery in Castle Dale this afternoon (Tuesday). The Spartans have an undefeated record in the region so far and appear to be the main threat to Carbon going undefeated in the rest of league play. So it will be an eastern Utah rivalry that will be relit at the ball diamond behind Emery High on Tuesday afternoon. And up for grabs will be the region title.