It was the proverbial tale of two games for the Emery Spartans in Beaver over the weekend as they began their journey to another potential 2A state title. In games against Rowland Hall and Beaver, Emery’s pitching and hitting were on full display, but baseball is baseball and a matter of inches can determine success and failure.
“We kind of just jumped on them,” said head coach Steven Gordon about his team’s eight-run first inning against Rowland Hall in game one on Saturday. “In the second game, we hit right at them (Beaver).”
Brayden Burke kept Rowland Hall batters guessing in the Spartans 18-0 win in the first round. Gordon said his entire team helped Burke out at the plate, racking up countless doubles and triples en route to the win.
The offensive onslaught continued in game two against the number-one seeded Beavers, but with a completely different outcome.
“We hit it on the nose,” Gordon said. “But we just hit it at them, it’s just baseball.”
Beaver recorded 16 outs against the Spartans that were either line drives or fly balls. Gordon said that Beaver made five diving catches as well.
Dillon Wilstead took the mound against the Beavers and struck out 11. With two outs and two strikes on Beaver’s Colby Limb in the bottom of the seventh, Limb blooped a double over second base to score Bailey Bradshaw, who was in motion from second, sealing a 4-3 win for the Beavers.
“Dillon had struck out the guy two times already,” Gordon said.
Now, in the loser’s bracket, Emery is in unfamiliar territory.
“We are going to have to battle,” Gordon said. “Parowan did it last year from the loser’s bracket, maybe it will be us this year.”
The Spartans will face a familiar foe on Thursday when they take on South Sevier at Taylorsville High School at 11 a.m. in the one-loss bracket. Emery outscored South Sevier 15-6 in two games this season. A win would put Emery against the winner of Summit Academy and Gunnison at 4:30 p.m. A loss would send the Spartans home.