MANTI—For the Templars, last week’s games were an experiential reminder of the road still to be traveled further.
Manti baseball lost all three of their games against region-leading Juab last week in a Tuesday to Friday series, falling 12-1 at home, then losing 15-3 and 11-1 in a doubleheader on the road. The Templars fell to 6-14 on the season overall and fell to a 2-10 record in Region 14.
“We went out and competed in each of the games,” Coach Bryan Keisel said. “The first game got away from us quickly here at Manti, but the two games at Juab were very competitive games. We held the lead in each of them. It showed that we are resilient, and we are going to fight. In each of the two games at Juab, we had one bad inning in each game that was the difference. The casual fan would just look at the final score and not realize the true competitiveness of the games.”
Indeed, Manti’s initial matchup with the Wasps did get out of hand quickly as Juab scored eight runs in the first inning before going into cruise control for the rest. They then scored four more in the fifth inning to end it early. Junior Taylor Whitney brought in junior Troy Madsen on an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning for Manti’s only point of the matchup. Senior A.J. Cox had a rough day at the pitching mound, getting hit on 16 times with only one strikeout.
The following Friday looked better for the Templars as they scored three runs in the first two innings to hold an unexpected lead over the champs. They held onto that lead up to the fourth inning, then Juab scored 10 runs in the fifth for another early end. Sophomores Reggie Frischknecht and Jaden Barton each had an RBI. Sophomore Britton Keisel pitched three strikeouts with six hits.
In the final game, Manti once again was the first team on the board, scoring a run at the top of the first inning before Juab scored two in the bottom. Sophomore Bo Stevens crossed home plate for Manti’s only point. Sophomore Kayson Bailey pitched four strikeouts with seven hits.
Manti struggled to find big hits through the week, as no player hit more than a single in any of the three games.
The Templars played Gunnison Valley on the road last Monday and are traveling to face North Sevier on Tuesday.