After splitting a double header with Richfield on Friday, April 27, and sweeping San Juan on Tuesday, May 1, the Grand County High School and Richfield High School baseball teams finished with identical 9-3 records in Region 15 play, but the Wildcats won the coin flip for the No. 1 seed, sending No. 2 Grand to Carbon for the first two rounds of the UHSAA Utah State 3A Baseball Championships. The softball team, despite winning its final two region contests to finish tied with Emery at 4-8 in region play, also lost a coin flip and will open at the Region 14 Champion’s home field on Saturday, May 5. As of press time, the Region 14 Champion hadn’t been determined.
The baseball team has an 18-4 record overall, superior to Richfield’s 15-8, but non-region play has no bearing on the playoffs. The Red Devils and Wildcats split a pair of games against each other on April 27, with Richfield winning the first 13-6 and Grand winning the second 22-1. The Red Devils committed six errors in the opener, allowing the Wildcats to have more runs (13) than hits (12). Seven of Richfield’s hits were good for extra bases, including three home runs, while senior Brayden Schultz had a homer for Grand and seniors Alec Williams and Josh Jones each had doubles. Senior Masen Ward was the losing pitcher.
The second game went only five innings, thanks to the mercy rule. Grand had more runs (22) than hits (15), thanks to their ability to draw walks, as well as six Richfield defensive errors. Jones and Ward had home runs, while Schultz, Williams and Ward had doubles. Jones was the winning pitcher.
The Red Devils, Wildcats and South Sevier Rams each entered play on May 1, with a chance to finish 9-3 in region play. The Wildcats had a home game versus Emery, which they won 7-3, while the Rams played at North Sanpete, losing 3-2. Grand had a home double header versus San Juan, of which they won the first game 11-1 and the second 10-3 to keep pace and force the coin flip.
The first game lasted six innings because of the mercy rule as Williams held San Juan to only three hits and one run. Grand scored 11 runs on 10 hits, thanks to five errors by the Broncos. Jones and senior Gage Hansen each smacked a double.
Jones picked up a win on the mound in the second game, holding the Broncos to only four hits. Grand got 10 hits, including doubles from seniors Schultz and Nick Downard, and junior Trevin Packard.
Grand will play Morgan in the first round of the state tournament on Saturday, May 5, in Helper. Morgan finished fourth in Region 13 with a 2-10 record. The other two teams at Helper on Saturday are host Carbon, which won the Region 14 title; and Emery, the Region 15 No. 6 seed. Grand beat Carbon 2-1 on March 17 in Moab and split with Emery, losing 4-0 in Castle Dale on March 13, and winning 4-0 in Moab on March 16. Each team that wins at least one game on Saturday will advance in the double-elimination tournament, which continues May 10-12 at Kearns High School.
In softball, Grand beat Emery 6-0 in Moab on Tuesday, April 24, and finsihed the regular season with a 14-3 win at San Juan on Tuesday, May 1, to finish tied for fifth in Region 15, along with the Lady Spartans, both of whom have 4-8 records. Sophomore Jaci Shumway pitched a shutout versus the Lady Spartans. Shumway, Tyra Robertson and Jessica Jones each had multi-hit games.
The Lady Red Devils also went 2-2 at the Cache Valley Invitational on Saturday, April 28, in Logan, beating Morgan 19-3 and Northridge 10-3, and losing 8-6 to Skyview and 10-4 to Ridgeline.
Softball team also loses coin toss, ends up No. 6
When: Saturday, May 5, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Ernie Gardner Field, 411 Spruce St., Helper
Grand will play a second game at either 3 or 5:30 p.m.