Manti baseball team loses to Wolves, then defeats Rockwell
GUNNISON—The Manti baseball team opened state tournament competition last Saturday with their first round matchup against Enterprise hosted on the Gunnison baseball diamond.
The Wolves pulled off the mild upset with a 12-1 win over the Templars, setting up a second game against Rockwell Academy. The Templars had no problem defeating the Marshalls 10-0 to stay alive in the tournament and advance to the next round that will take place today.
Last week, Manti coach Jim Nelson commented that the Enterprise Wolves were a good hitting team.
“They can flat out hit,” he said. The Wolves proved that point in their win over Manti. They scored 12 runs on 13 hits, including a trio of doubles and a pair of home runs.
The score was still close after three innings with Manti trailing 4-1, but Enterprise opened the game up with eight runs in the top of the fourth.
Enterprise pitcher, Kaden Simkins, made a living on the outside corner of the plate, holding Manti to one run on six hits. Jaden Cox hit a double for the Templars.
Manti then took on Rockwell, a team that featured only nine players, two of whom had never played baseball at any level prior to this year. The Marshalls lost their earlier game to Gunnison 25-7 in five innings.
Things didn’t go much better for Rockwell against the Templars. Manti got on the board in the first inning on an RBI double by Darron McClain that brought Jace Miller home. Manti scored six runs in the first, added another in the third and then had the opportunity to end the game early in the bottom of the fifth.
Manti needed three runs to invoke the mercy rule. An RBI single by Miller scored Marshall Dotson and then, with runners on first and second, McClain connected on a sizzling line drive that brought Jayden Cox and Tristan Barnes home to end the game.
McClain went the distance from the pitcher’s mound and had two doubles. Cox joined Matt Nelson and Trever Trythall with a double each.
The win over Rockwell keeps Manti’s playoff run alive and sets up their next game at Salt Lake Community College today. Manti will play at 1:30 p.m. and will have a chance to redeem themselves of their earlier loss to Enterprise.
The Wolves lost their second game last Saturday to Gunnison 2-0. Today’s game will be do or die for both teams. The winner will advance to play at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Providence Hall/San Juan game. The loser will go home.