1A baseball: Panguitch caps undefeated season with a title
Orem •Â Clint Barney was the last person to walk off the field at Brent Brown Ballpark, his ocean blue T-shirt still soaked from the ice water that engulfed him only minutes prior.
The Panguitch baseball coach just led his Bobcats to a sixth championship during his time at the helm the program's third consecutive Class 1A crown earned in a 2-0 win over PiuteÂ as players posed with another championship and took it all in on the grass hill in the shadow of the snow-capped mountains.
"Nobody cares about what happened yesterday," Barney said. "It's only today."
The Bobcats, winners of their previous 23 games, played like they wanted 24. After winning 23 in a row and the 1A title in 2012, Panguitch turned to its ace, lefty Chance Campbell, to get it a prize to ride along on the bus ride south.
After throwing seven shutout innings and 10 strikeouts in their 3-0 semifinal win over Tabiona on Friday, Barney and the staff went back to Campbell on Saturday morning.
But Saturday was different. His senior year, along with all the culminating factors surrounding this game, got to Campbell. In warm-ups he said he was "throwing all over the place and shaking the whole time."
That eventually went away.
Campbell threw a second consecutive seven-inning shutout in as many days, striking out seven and giving up just four hits to pave the way for the Bobcat offense to scrape together two runs and call it good.
"Some games, you just think you're unbeatable," Campbell said. "Other times, it's a close game and you've got to pull your mental and physical strengths together."
Panguitch took the lead in the bottom of the third inning when senior Keldon Norris singled. Sophomore Parker Palmer followed with a single that sent Norris to third.
In stepped Dason Houston, whose sacrifice fly to left field plated Norris.
Palmer eventually touched home plate after two wild pitches by Piute.
Campbell and the Bobcat defense took care of business from there. He even wiggled his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the top of the fifth inning with a ball hit directly to him. He sprinted to the first baseman and got rid of the ball, took off his glove and pumped his fist.
"We were prepared for this," Barney said. "This is what we wanted."