Kearns • Coy Johnson set a goal the summer before his senior year began to win three state titles.
Then football season ended in disappointment. And the night his basketball season ended with more disappointment still, the Grantsville senior sent his baseball coach a text message.
“We’re not losing this one,” he said.
On Saturday night, with the sun setting over Gates Field, Johnson threw the final strike of his high school career, thrust both arms toward the sky and quickly found himself at the bottom of a pile of his teammates near the pitcher’s mound.
“We did it,” Johnson said after the Grantsville Cowboys beat the Carbon Dinos 12-4 to capture the Class 3A state title.
The Cowboys (25-3) entered the tournament as the top-ranked team and cruised through American Leadership Academy, South Sevier, Manti and Carbon twice to capture the school’s sixth baseball championship and its first since 2014.
“I feel great. I don’t know what else to say. I’m kind of speechless right now,” Grantsville coach Aaron Perkins said.
Perkins told his team before Saturday’s game that he expected they would have to grind out a victory over a good Carbon team (21-9) that had battled back from a quarterfinal loss to reach the championship game in the double-elimination tournament. After losing to Granstville 6-0 on Thursday, the Dinos put together wins over Union and Richfield. The Dinos’ bats came alive a 14-6 win over the Manti Templars on Saturday afternoon to earn a spot in the state title game.
Perkins told his players he thought they might score six runs against Carbon in the championship game.
“I think I pissed them off,” Perkins said with a laugh afterward.
The Cowboys scored six in the first inning alone. Catcher Keagon Landon went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and senior first baseman Brady Arbon added two more RBIs for the Cowboys.
The early offense took pressure of Grantsville’s starting pitcher, sophomore Parker Thomas.
“It made it a lot easier to work,” Thomas said. “I just tried to do my thing. I’ve got a great defense.”
Thomas picked up the win, pitching 5 2/3 innings and striking out six batters. Thomas allowed just four earned runs — with Carbon’s Ty Anderson driving in three of them.
“I have every confidence in the world in Parker,” Perkins said. “I knew he would give us everything he had today and he did.”
GRANTSVILLE 12, CARBON 4
• Grantsville wins its first state title since 2014.
• Parker Thomas earns the win on the mound with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
• Grantsville finishes the season 25-3.
CLASS 2A TITLE GAME
South Sevier holds off Kanab 9-7 in the winner-take-all game. Kanab forced the winner-take-all game with a 5-2 win in the first meeting between the teams Saturday afternoon.