DELTA—It couldn’t have been a more frustrating week for the Templars.
With the state tournament drawing ever closer, Manti baseball went 0-3 last week in a three-game series sweep against Delta in region play, losing 12-8 on Tuesday, then falling twice by the score of 8-7 in Friday’s doubleheader. The Templars dropped to 6-11 on the season overall with a 2-7 mark in Region 14.
Manti held a lead in every single game of the series and twice held the lead in the seventh and final inning.
In Tuesday’s game, a solid starting run by Manti got them out to a 5-1 lead going into the fourth inning. Delta answered back to take the lead with six runs, going up 7-5. Senior A.J. Cox led the team with two RBI. Nevertheless, Delta didn’t lose the lead once they had it, collecting 13 total hits.
On Friday, Manti burst out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and led, 6-0, after the second inning in the first game of the day. Delta’s defense tightened up, holding the Templars scoreless over the next four innings until the game was tied, 6-6, in the seventh. Manti scored another for a lead at the bottom of the inning, but Delta had the last laugh, scoring two runs to steal the game. Cox and sophomore Jaden Barton each had two RBI.
In the second Friday game, neither team got on the board for the first three innings before Delta got the fourth-inning lead with four runs. It was Delta holding the convincing 5-1 lead heading into the final inning before Manti had a late-game surge, busting out six runs to take a 7-5 lead.
When it finally looked like it was going to go Manti’s way, Delta went back out to bat, coolly threw up another three runs on the board, and completed the sweep.
Barton led the way with two RBI. Despite a solid day from sophomore pitcher Britton Keisel, who tossed eight strikeouts, the rest of the defense struggled to play clean ball, collecting eight fielding errors.
The Templars will reckon with Juab on Tuesday and in a doubleheader on the road on Friday. They’ll then prepare to face Gunnison Valley next Monday.