|Carbon baseball coach Lane Herrick shakes hands with Troy Grundy after a strong pitching effort and a great defensive play to end the game against Emery on Tuesday.|
The clouds gathered and the wind blew, but the weather that someone seemed to conjure up in Emery County on Tuesday afternoon couldn't deter the Carbon baseball squad from their assigned duty: to destroy the Emery Spartans squad.
And they fulfilled their quest almost perfectly as they took out Emery's hopes of catching the league leading Dinos this year with an 8-1 victory on the Spartans home field in Castle Dale.
In actuality the game wasn't even that close. The Dinos dominated every aspect of the game, loading up the bases a couple of times, but not quite being able to bring those runners in to take the score to ten runs so that the Emery misery could end sooner than later.
Again sophomore pitcher Troy Grundy came through with flying colors striking out nine batters and allowing the Spartans only two hits in the game.
In batting, once again another hero emerged in the person of Matt Jewkes. Jewkes had three hits and batted out the only home run in the game.
It began fast with Carbon smacking out three runs almost before the scoreboard came on.
In the second inning Emery's defense seemed to stiffen a little and they allowed only one run by the Dinos, as Travis Barnett continued to pitch for the Spartans.
The next two innings were scoreless, but in the fourth Carbon had the bases loaded but failed to bring any runners in. The fourth also brought out one of the best defensive plays of the game. Grundy hurled a pitch and an Emery batter nailed a grounder toward right field, but Carbon first baseman Jeff Anderson ran over and nabbed it. Meanwhile, Grundy whirled toward first base at top speed. Anderson tossed Grundy the ball and he out raced the Emery runner, who had a completely surprised look on his face, to first base and took him out. Carbon fans went nuts.
Carbon scored another run at the top of the fifth and again had the chance to pile on the points and win early, but couldn't bring the runners in before the outs ran dry.
Two more runs in the top of the sixth made the score 7-0 and it seemed that the air had gone completely out of Emery's balloon.
But to their credit when the wind started to blow out of Straight Canyon down on Orangeville and Castle Dale, they seemed to get renewed life. The seventh inning became harder for the Dinos to win than the whole game had.
Emery got people on base and one runner finally worked his way across home, but with two outs already on the board it was only a matter of time before the inevitable hatchet fell, which it did in the form of another great Grundy play. The county was 2-1, he tossed the pitch and an Emery batter hit it almost straight at him, but a little high. It was like he just reached up with his glove and the ball curve right toward it. He had made the final out.
Carbon players and coaches ran out on the field. Regardless if both these teams had winning records or losing records, this is always an important game for both teams. This time Carbon proved they deserved the number one state ranking they have been enjoying. A rematch back at Dinofield of this game will take place on April 26, the last regular season game for both teams.
Almost everyone on the Dino team played flawlessly. In the outfield, Jan Jorgensen took three fly balls to himself and nabbed everyone of them. The infield also played with Blake Wilde nabbing a couple of grounders and everyone contributing to keep Emery from the scoreboard.
Carbons next game will be on Friday at Lehi and then they return home to face a weak North Sanpete team that lost a few days ago to Delta 24-0, and to Lehi on Tuesday evening 14-4.