GUNNISON—Not only did the Gunnison Valley baseball team improve to 20-1 last week, the team advanced to the quarterfinal of the 2A state tournament on another blowout win.
On Tuesday, May 4, 3A South Sevier came to Gunnison and the Bulldogs won, 9-4, in their final regular-season game. On Saturday, Gunnison Valley enjoyed a first-round bye in the tournament as the top seed before defeating the No. 8 seed Milford, 22-0.
Against South Sevier, Gunnison Valley took the lead early, but not as large of a lead as the team has made a habit of doing. Entering the sixth inning, the score was 5-2 in Gunnison’s favor, a slimmer margin than most contests the Bulldogs have played this year.
Payton Dyreng, Ryker Stewart and Janzen Keisel each contributed two runs batted in. Keisel hit a home run, his ninth of the year, according to MaxPreps.com.
Keisel pitched three innings, striking out eight and allowing one run on two hits and two walks.
Next Creed Mogle pitched two innings. He allowed one hit and one run, and he struck out five batters.
Talon Belnap closed out the final two innings with two strikeouts and two runs allowed, only after Gunnison Valley had taken a 9-2 lead.
Against Milford, athletic director Rhett Jackson described the offense by saying, “We couldn’t stop hitting.” The Bulldogs took a 13-0 lead in the first inning, and the game ended after four and a half innings by the mercy rule.
Keisel hit two home runs, and Easton Newman hit one.
The tournament is double elimination, meaning teams must lose twice before they are disqualified.
Tomorrow, Gunnison Valley will face Beaver, the No. 4 seed. If the Bulldogs win, they would only have to win two more games to win the state title. The game, which is part of the quarterfinal, will take place in Spanish Fork at Nelson Field at 11 a.m.
On Friday, March 19, Beaver dealt Gunnison its only loss of the season by the mercy rule, 11-1 during a tournament at a neutral site. Most recently on Thursday, April 29, the Bulldogs defeated the Beavers at Beaver, 9-4.
The winner of tomorrow’s game will advance to the semifinal and play at the same park on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Whichever team loses Thursday in the quarterfinal will play Friday at 11 a.m. in the losers’ bracket, which still offers a path to the championship game.
For all the information about the tournament, visit uhsaa.org/baseball.