CASTLE DALE—As the snow melts and fields become available for baseball teams with almost no time to spare, that first time facing another team’s pitcher is a sink-or-swim moment.
In the case of Manti baseball, the team was left with a sinking feeling as they dropped their season opener in a shutout loss to Emery on the road, 10-0, beginning their season 0-1.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but it was literally the first time our kids had seen a baseball outside of a gym,” Coach Bryan Keisel said. “Our timing was off at the plate, and we committed far too many errors on defense. We just need to get outside and get to work.”
The Templars struggled mightily on offense, getting only three total hits in the game, all of them singles. The hitting lineup combined to strike out nine times.
On defense, sophomore Britton Keisel and senior AJ Cox split duties at the pitching mound. Though they had similar days statistically for the most part, Keisel showcased a capability for striking out batters as he pitched five strikeouts in the game to just one for Cox.
The Templars will have a lot of baseball to play this week, beginning with their home opener against Richfield on Tuesday. They’ll then head out to the Chuckwagon Classic in Kanab to take on Beaver, Summit Academy, Morgan and Kanab on Friday and Saturday.