Orem • The Grantsville Cowboys entered the Class 3A baseball tournament with an underdog, never-give-up mentality. Thanks to some gutsy baserunning, the Cowboys pulled of a 3-2 upset over Desert Hills on Friday in the winners’ bracket final.
Despite their obvious advantage going into the championship game on Saturday, the Cowboys are sticking to the frame of mind that got them there.
Grantsville 3,Desert Hills 2Grantsville’s Dillon Hutchins pitches six innings and gives up only four hits to earn the win.
3A baseball schedule
At Utah Valley University
Winners’ bracket final
» Grantsville 3, Desert Hills 2
Losers’ bracket final
» Desert Hills vs. Cedar City, 9 a.m.
» Grantsville vs. Desert Hills/Cedar City, 11 a.m.
» Rematch (if necessary), 20 minutes after the conclusion of first game
"We’re still the underdog in this whole thing, so we’ll come back with a chip on our shoulder and try and rally it and see what happens," Grantsville coach Loren Anderson said. "We’re excited to be here."
For five innings, Deseret Hills’ Brayson Hurdsman was nearly untouchable, giving up only one hit, which came in the first inning.
"He was kind of eating us up there and we were having a hard time with our at-bats," Anderson said. "But then we got some runners on, and that home run sort of sparked us."
"That home run" came in the bottom of the sixth, when the Cowboys felt the urgency set in and momentum started to swing. Leading off, Ky Fisher hammered a homer to left field. Then Wyatt Barrus ripped a shot to the right field wall. A Cowboys baserunner was gunned out at home on the play, but that wasn’t going to stop their aggressiveness.
Dillon Hutchins executed a suicide squeeze, scoring one run to tie the game. Then, with runners on first and third, Hurdsman threw to first and Barrus went sprinting for home.
"It was a suicide squeeze and it was a chance," Barrus said. "I was going on first move, and he went over to first. Usually, I thought I’d be hosed right there, but the first baseman took a little more time than he needed to, I guess. I wasn’t watching, I was just running."
While the play worked to the Cowboys’ advantage, the situation caught Barrus off-guard.
"I wasn’t thinking [Hurdsman] was going to risk [a pickoff try] in that situation," he said.
Behind the support of a loyal crowd, Grantsville never lost focus, even when it was struggling.
"It’s not too hard to stay focused in games like this," said Barrus. "You know, big games — it means a lot to our town. Obviously we have a lot of fans coming."
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