Manti Yankees finish second in Utah tournament

A local Pony League baseball team, The Manti Yankees, finished second out of 32 teams at a state tourney last week. Pictured (from L to R back row) are Coach Robert Larsen, Jacob Bodell, Parker Jensen (pick up player from Salina), Jordan Gonzales, Colt Madsen, Russell Squire, Brayden Thomas, Chase Keisel and Coach Bryan Keisel. (L to R front row): Koy Johnson, Lane Cox, Durke Larsen, Grant Cox, Myles Buchanan and Kevin Christensen.

MANTI—A local Pony League baseball team, The Manti Yankees, finished second out of 32 teams at a Utah state tournament last week.

The UBBA State Tournament was held in Lehi and Spanish Fork from July 12-16. The tournament kicked off with pool play on Monday and Tuesday in Lehi, with the Yankees going a perfect 3-0 in their pool.

Then on Tuesday evening, the single elimination tournament began with the Yankees as the No. 1 seed. In the opening game, The Yankees defeated the Lehi Astros, 12-6. Moving ahead to Wednesday, the team then faced a tough team from Saratoga Springs, the Rays. The Rays jumped out to an early lead, but the Yankees battled back and defeated the Rays by a score of 12-6, once again.

The tournament then switched venues to Spanish Fork on Friday, where “Super State” kicked off. The Yankees played the Spanish Fork Rockies in the first game, which was very competitive, with the lead going back and forth. In the final inning of play, the Yankees found themselves trailing by one run, 6-5. In the final inning the Yankees were able to load the bases and push across two runs for a walk off victory, 7-6.

This win pushed the Yankees into the championship game, where they faced the Spanish Fork Phillies. Although the game was 3-2 in favor of the Phillies into the fifth inning, the Phillies pushed five more runs across the plate in the sixth and seventh innings to defeat the Yankees by the final score of 8-2. This resulted in a second place finish for the team.

On the season, including the state tournament, the team had a dominant record of 20-1, with their sole loss coming in the state championship. The team was coached by Bryan Keisel and Robert Larsen.