MANTI—If a “bubble” can be imagined for the bracket of the 3A baseball playoffs, Templar baseball would be on it.
The Manti High baseball team had a fairly easy schedule with a two-game series against American Leadership Academy last week, but they didn’t do themselves any favors against what was previously the last-place team in Region 14. Manti split the series with the Eagles as they pulled off a 7-1 victory before falling in the second game, 16-9.
Consistency was, once again, the Templars’ undoing. Manti senior Jason Nelson showcased a solid game from the mound in game one, pitching nine strikeouts and allowing three hits on base.
The pitching in the second game was a completely different story. Struggling with depth at the mound, the Templars struggled as five different pitchers appeared at the mound. In total, those five pitchers allowed 12 hits to only five strikeouts as ALA managed a team batting average of .444.
As of last Monday, ALA moved past Manti in the Region 14 standings, meaning that Manti is tied for the bottom with a struggling North Sanpete squad. The RPI rankings remain obscured at press time, but Manti’s win count of six is the fourth-fewest among all 3A teams, meaning that the Templars are a decent bet to sneak into the last couple seeds in the 16-team bracket.
The Templars fell short of a chance to get some momentum going into the end of the season, but have another opportunity to end on a positive note as they travel to North Sanpete this Tuesday.