NORTH LOGAN — The Cache Valley Baseball League saw two new champions crowned Tuesday evening at Elk Ridge Park.
The Minors Division Logan Dodgers beat the Smithfield Mets 5-0 in the early game, and in the Majors, the Smithfield Royals downed the cross-town Smithfield Mets 9-3 in extra innings.
In the Minors matchup, all of the scoring came in the first inning with the Dodgers sending five runners across the plate in the frame.
“(The Mets) struggled throwing strikes in the first inning, and we had a couple of key hits, got the five runs,” Dodgers coach Ron Shopbell said. “And basically that’s where the game stayed the rest of the way.”
Shopbell came into the game knowing that “whoever got ahead early was going to have the advantage. Luckily it was us.”
Lucky indeed because after that first inning, the Mets cleaned up their act and played near flawless defense.
“That first inning was a little rough, after that we held them in check,” Mets coach Kevin Low said.
A lack of defense on the Mets’ part obviously wasn’t the only thing that lead to the team’s championship demise. As a team, they managed just three hits according to Low.
“That’s not going to win a championship game,” Low said of the hitting performance.
In the end, though, Low said he is “proud of the kids” for fighting to the end.
“They played well, competed hard,” Low said. “After giving up five that first inning it would be easy to kind of mail it in and be done with it, but they competed and played hard.”
That’s one of the main lessons Low hoped his team would be able to take away from losing in the final match. For the Dodgers, Shopbell emphasized unity as a team.
“It’s a team game,” Shopbell said. “It’s not about one individual. It’s about cheering on your teammates after you’re done doing your job and its next man up.”
Shopbell’s crew of champions is comprised of Braxton Barrett, Cruz Berkley, Jack Cherrington, Aiden Despain, Emmanuel Gordo, Todd Grand-Garland, Pierce Halaufia, Dorian Nolasco, Cameron Packer, Marcus Shopbell, Aiden Summers and Daxton Troumbley.
On the valiant losing end was Hayden Low, Trevin Anderson, Grady Agustus, Brett Carling, Cael Crookston, Cameron Johnson, Braxton Law, Ryker Law, Ammon Smith, Davin Smith, Hank Smith and Waylon Smith.
In the latter game featuring the two Majors Division Smithfield teams the game went down to the wire with stellar sixth-inning action. The Royals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning and added another later on, but the senior Mets side chipped away and tied it up 3-3 going into the top of the sixth.
That’s where things got interesting.
With one away, the Royals sent back-to-back line drives into the short outfield. The latter shot led to an attempt on home from second base, but the runner was called out at the plate in a call that drew outrage from Royals supporters and roars of jubilation from the Mets who, for the moment, had saved their season and their perfect, undefeated record.
The Royals failed to conjure another chance and held the Mets in the bottom of the final inning of regulation, leading to what ultimately became the decisive seventh frame. Despite suffering a devastating blow, having a call rob them — in their minds — of a game-winning run, the Royals pulled through. In the top of the seventh, they poured on the runs, sending six runners across the plate in a barrage of base hits and extra bases off errors and wild pitches.
Wes Godfrey, head coach of the Royals, credited the longevity of his team to the depth they possess.
“We’re very deep all the way around,” Godfrey said. “We got very lucky and blessed that way. And I think that benefited us. I think this is our third or fourth extra-inning game, every one of which we’ve won because of our depth. We knew if we could hold them there in that last inning that we could get up and make it happen.”
The Mets, though robbed by their own mistakes of a perfect season, were able to smile after the game and celebrated a great season with silly string and group pictures. Coach Jared Storrs, smiling almost as much as the victorious Godfrey, praised his team for their accomplishments and a great game.
“Funnest game we’ve had all year,” Storrs said. “Not sad at all. I mean, you want to win but hey, we’re good losers too.”
Godfrey’s victorious Royals were Gage McRae, Brayden Anderson, Porter Barney, Hunter Downs, Max Johnsom, Gavin Krambule, William Krambule, Ryken Lee, Ashton Malin, Howdee Merrill and Jayzen Merritt.
The Mets nearly perfect side consisted of Jarom Jensen, Daxton Benson, Gehrig Hansen, Jensen Storrs, Jamison Storrs, Kona Seeholzter, Stilli Palmer, Cruz Sessions, Jantzen Low, Dalton Low, Cutter Smith, Mason Dillinger and Grady Toolson.