MANTI—What started as a solid showing by the Hawks last week quickly turned into a Templar downpour.
Manti and North Sanpete baseball teams met last Wednesday and Friday for their rivalry matchup. The Hawks claimed the first game, 6-2, but in a doubleheader last Friday, Manti took the first game, 11-7, and then blasted the Hawks out of the park in the second game, 23-2.
Manti’s record moved to 5-7 overall, with a 2-4 mark in Region 14 play. North Sanpete moved to 6-8 overall, with a 3-3 mark in region play.
North Sanpete got the upper hand in a low-scoring affair last Wednesday through solid pitching as Manti batters struck out eight times with only five hits. Hawks senior Brayden Olsen got things started in the first inning with two RBI on a line drive as junior PJ Cook raced for the home stretch, helping North Sanpete out to a 3-0 lead.
Manti fought back with two runs to get close, but four was a magic number for Hawks senior Hunter Price as he began the fourth inning cracking his fourth home run, a single over the fence of left field. North Sanpete scored two more runs in the fifth to secure the win.
In the first game of the Friday doubleheader, North Sanpete continued to play well on defense. At the top of the fifth inning, with bases loaded, Hawks sophomore Andy Bailey delivered a flier over to right field for a triple, scoring three runners who came hooting and hollering around to home base for a 7-4 lead.
Manti was not done yet. With the bases loaded at the bottom of the inning, Templars sophomore Braxton Henningson stole home on a catcher error, and the fireworks began as Manti scored seven runs to fly past North Sanpete and claim the win.
In the final game of the week, Manti’s hitting party didn’t stop. The Templars lambasted the Hawks from the plate to the tune of 21 combined hits. Sophomores Bo Stevens and Jaden each hit home runs. Stevens and Henningson led the charge with four RBI each, while the Templars defense and pitching held North Sanpete to only four hits against seven strikeouts.
The Templars moved to No. 15 in 3A’s RPI rankings, while North Sanpete dropped to No. 13.
Manti took on American Leadership Academy after press time last Monday. They’ll face 4A Hurricane n the road in a non-region matchup on Friday, then prepare for a series with Delta next week.
North Sanpete will face Juab on Tuesday and in a doubleheader on Friday.