Orem • Fighting your way through the losers’ bracket can be a draining task. But Emery got some help from Mother Nature this year.
On Tuesday, the Spartans faced a challenging 21-inning day and the crowning moment was a 16-9 win over Grand for the 2A state baseball title.
Emery coach Steve Gordon made sure his guys stayed positive after a rain-filled week last week, telling them, “ ‘It sucks that we got rained out, but it’s going to pay off and help us out.’ You know, we had sore arms most of the day, but our guys just battled.”
The Spartans started the day by defeating Beaver 13-6. They then advanced to face Grand, which had yet to lose a tournament game. Emery proceeded to soundly defeat the Red Devils 12-3 to force a Game 2.
Game 2 got underway and fatigue from both sides was evident, but the Spartans pushed on, knowing the prize they were chasing was within their grasp.
“It’s grueling. I’m exhausted right now,” Tanner Lake said after going 7 for 11 with seven RBIs in the three games. “I just recently got out of a slump, so I’ve just been swinging it well, and I guess it just worked out today.”
Surprisingly, the Spartans looked as though they were the fresh team throughout both games against Grand.
“[The Grand] coach said to me, ‘Are you guys going to get tired?’ and you know, I think our guys were just focused on winning today,” Gordon said.
The Spartans tallied 41 runs on 41 hits on the day, and saved their best performance at the plate for the deciding game.
“We knew we were the best team on paper,” coach Gordon said. “We just had to prove it and go get it done. We have a lineup one through nine that swings the bat real well.”
Emery’s Ethan Tuttle was another clutch performer throughout the day as he went 7 for 12 with 5 RBIs. Afterward, Tuttle made sure to acknowledge Grand’s performance. “Grand put up a good fight in the second game,” Tuttle said. “I was surprised they came back ready to play. Overall, it was just a great day.”
Fighting their way through the losers’ bracket was not Emery’s preferred path, but it was worth it in the end.
“It’s a great feeling,” coach Gordon said. “It’s fun to rush the mound.”
R Emery does the near impossible by winning three games in one day to claim the 2A championship.
• Emery’s Ridge Nielsen pitches 3 1⁄3 innings of relief to get the win in the finale.