ETV News stock photo by Jeff Barrett
After losing to Grantsville in a close game in the opening weekend of the 3A State Baseball Tournament, the Dinos were in a tough place to make a state title run. Starting in the losers bracket, there was no margin for error.
#4 Carbon took on #11 American Leadership Academy with little problems to begin Thursday. Carbon scored in every inning and went on to ten-run the Eagles, 12-2, in five. The Dinos tallied six doubles in the contest, two of which came from Rylan Hart. Derick Robison led the team with three RBIs while Brayton Nielsen and Jordan Fossat tallied two ribbies apiece. Jacob Vasquez started on the mound and gave up two runs in four innings while Cooper Schade pitched a hitless fifth.
The win set up a rivalry game with #9 Emery, elimination style, later on that night. The big storyline in this one was Carbon’s sophomore Wyatt Falk, who started on the mound and dominated the game. There were only two innings in which a baserunner reached scoring position as Falk kept the Spartans off balance.
The Dino offense took advantage of Trevin Wakefield and began to inflict damage. They scored two runs in the second and three runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead. The Spartans loaded the bases in the top of the fourth, but they were unable to make anything of it as Falk and the Dinos slammed the door shut.
Fossat then smashed a two-run digger over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth to break the game open. Kade Dimick’s subsequent triple chased Wakefield out of the game, but the damage had already been done. Dimick came around to score to put the Dinos up eight. Falk seemingly got better as the game went on and the Dinos walked it off in the sixth with two more runs to send their foes packing.
Falk pitched a complete game shutout and only gave up two hits and three walks through six innings. He struck out eight, including two in the final frame. Ridge Nielson and Fossat each had two ribbies as the Dinos scored in bunches.
They opened up Friday against #2 Judge Memorial. Down 2-0, Carbon tied the game up in the second. The Dinos then took the lead in the third only to lose it in the bottom half. Tied at three, Carbon scored one in the fifth as the game remained close. The Dinos broke the game open in the sixth with four runs to go up 8-4 with only two innings left. Judge immediately answered back with a six-run frame to take a 9-8 lead.
Facing elimination, pinch hitter Dallin Oniel led off the seventh with a double. He came around to score three batters later off Cooper Schade’s single. The Dinos blanked the Bulldogs in the bottom half to force extras. Carbon scored two more runs in the eighth and Jordan Fossat closed off the game to give Carbon the 11-9 victory. Ridge Nielson and Kade Dimick each had a team-high three RBIs in the contest.
The win set up another late game, this time against #1 Juab. The big momentum shift in the game occurred in the bottom of the fourth. Up by one run, the Wasps put two runners on with no outs. The next batter ripped the ball down the third base line and Walk Falk laid out to snag the would be double. He touched third and tossed it over to first for the double play. The Dinos got out of the inning unscathed and then continued their momentum with six runs in the next half inning.
The crooked frame was capped off by two, back-to-back RBI doubles from Nielson and Keaton Rich. Carbon added one more run in the sixth to go up 7-1. No lead is safe in state baseball, however, as Juab quickly scored three to cut the deficit in half. The Dinos grabbed an insurance run in the seventh and closed it out in the bottom half to take the game 8-4. Rich, Hart and Fossat each had two RBIs apiece.
Carbon advanced to Saturday to take on #6 Richfield. The Dinos swept the Wildcats in the regular season, but the stakes were much higher in game three. The Dinos jumped out in front with five singles in the first inning, scoring three runs. Richfield got two back in the second, but Carbon followed suit to lead 5-2. The teams traded runs down the stretch and Carbon eventually took the game 8-4. Carbon recorded 10 hits, but they were all singles. Nielson led the team with three ribbies while Beau Vea came in and pitched two scoreless innings to get the save.
The Dinos then had a rematch against #5 Grantsville. The Cowboys were the last remaining unbeaten team, so Carbon would have to win twice to take the state title. Down 1-0, Carbon put together a four-run second to go out in front. The Cowboys continued to chip away at the lead and eventually tied the game in the fourth. The score remained all knotted up until Hart hit a double in sixth. Schade singled Hart home to break the tie and put Carbon on top. Hart then finished his third scoreless inning on the mound to top the Cowboys 5-4 and force a winner takes all championship game.
Six games in three days took their toll on the Dinos and it showed up in game seven. In the third game on Saturday, the Dinos ran out of steam and out of pitchers with varsity experience. With that being said, Carbon continued to battle, but the climb was too steep. Grantsville put two crooked frames up, five runs in the first and six runs in the fifth, to beat the Dinos 14-4 and claim the state title.
Carbon was named runner ups and had a great showing in the tournament, winning six of their last seven games. The Dinos finished second in the state with a 24-9 record.