MONROE—Vengeance was sweet for the Bulldogs last week, but the playoff mountain got a little steeper afterwards.
Upon earning a No. 9 playoff seed, Gunnison Valley baseball finally got the win that had evaded them all season long, beating rival North Sevier, 12-0, last Saturday in the first round of the UHSAA 2A Baseball State Championship tournament.
Unfortunately, their immediate reward was the No. 1 team in the tournament, South Sevier. The Rams brutally handed the Bulldogs a 19-9 loss, sending them to the one-loss bracket of the tournament.
Prior to tournament play, Gunnison finished off the regular season with two tough non-region losses, falling to Manti, 4-2, last Monday, then to 3A’s top team, Juab, by an 8-3 score last Tuesday. They ended the regular season with an overall record of 8-16.
The Bulldogs started slow against the Wolves, getting a single run on the board at the top of the second inning.
Once the fourth inning came along, they quickly turned up the heat, scoring 11 runs over the last two innings, forcing a mercy-rule ending. Junior Jake Sorensen led the squad with three RBI, while junior Easton Newman pitched six strikeouts and allowed only three hits.
South Sevier proved a much, much tougher opponent, and they were perhaps still remembering the 6-4 loss Gunnison had handed them earlier in the season. The Rams shot the score up to 9-0 by the end of the first inning before the Bulldogs collected their wits.
In a solid hitting game for both teams, South Sevier’s 15 hits did far more than Gunnison’s 12. The Rams hit a combined four triples, which was more than their total number of strikeouts (three). Senior Tate King led Gunnison with two RBI. In efforts to conserve pitchers for the playoffs, Gunnison trotted out six different pitchers, who combined for three strikeouts.
The Bulldogs will move on in the playoffs with a matchup with No. 10 Milford this Thursday. The game will be played at Juan Diego Catholic High School.