The Grand County Red Devils baseball team lost 6-5 to Summit Academy in the first round of the double-elimination 2A state playoffs in Delta on Saturday, May 2, before defeating American Leadership Academy 13-1 to advance in the tournament, which continues Thursday, May 7, through Saturday, May 9.
Against Summit Academy, the Red Devils went with freshman pitcher Josh Jones and allowed only four hits, but the Bears were still able to score six runs. The Bears held the Red Devils to only one run in the first four innings before Grand rallied in the later innings, scoring a run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to pull to 6-3, but the rally fell short as Grand only pushed two runs across in the seventh inning to lose 6-5. Grand junior Brayden Ward hit a triple in the losing effort.
The Red Devils, however, rebounded with senior Kyler Nelson on the mound to steamroll American Leadership Academy 13-1 to keep their season alive. Nelson allowed only two hits and struck out 12 batters in the five-inning mercy rule win.
Region 13 Champion Delta defeated American Leadership Academy 14-4 before beating Summit Academy 8-1, taking advantage of their homefield advantage in the tournament’s first two rounds to head into championship weekend without a loss.
Grand will play Region 15 foe South Sevier in the one-loss bracket on Thursday, May 7, at 11 a.m., in Spanish Fork. The Rams lost 10-3 to Region 16 Champion Gunnison in the second round of the tournament. The winner between Grand and South Sevier will move on to play at 4:30 p.m. at Utah Valley University against the winner of a one-loss bracket game between Emery and Parowan. Emery, which by winning the Region 15 championship was also a host in the first weekend, lost to Enterprise 12-7 in the second round.
The other two Region 15 representatives in the playoffs also lost at least once in the first weekend. No. 2 seed North Sevier lost 11-3 at home against Manti in the second round, and will continue in the one-loss bracket on championship weekend. No. 5 seed San Juan lost its first-round game 6-4 to Gunnison before being ousted from the tournament by a 10-4 loss to Beaver in the second round.
The tournament concludes with the state championship game, to be played at Utah Valley University on Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m.
Grand falls to Summit Academy, defeats ALA to continue in one-loss bracket