HYRUM — Some less-than-ideal weather and shaky defense put somewhat was a damper on Mountain Crest’s first baseball game at home since 2019.
The Mustangs committed five errors and gave up four unearned runs in their 5-3 loss to Bountiful on Tuesday afternoon at The Yard. The game was cut short due to snowy conditions that were exacerbated by a brisk wind, making visibility very challenging in the fifth inning.
Coaches from both teams met with the umpires in the top of the sixth and elected to call the rest of the contest.
“After not being able to play last year and two years since this field has been played on (during the high school season), it’s pretty nice to get back,” MC senior Dax Roundy said. “I just wish we could have started it off better. We’re going to have to get back at it.”
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, their defensive struggles started early on. It should have been a 1-2-3 top of the first for Mountain Crest pitcher Braydon Schiess, but back-to-back errors with one out gave the Braves new life, and they capitalized with a Hunter Esplin RBI single.
“You’ve got to be ready and prepared to play in any kind of weather — cold, hot, windy, wet,” MC head coach Stephen Hansen said. “And, you know, we just didn’t come ready and prepared to play. From the second ground ball of the game, we just weren’t quite ready to go.”
Mountain Crest (6-2) bounced back with a run in the home half of the first, but left the bases loaded. Kolmyn Foulger scored the first Mustang run on a single to left field by Roundy.
Bountiful (3-1) took control with four runs in the top of the fourth, and the visitors only needed one hit to inflict that much damage and take a 5-1 lead. Two errors and two walks aided Bountiful’s cause, plus Truman Duryea came through with a big two-run double to deep right field.
Likewise, the Braves struggled defensively as they also committed five errors, but the Mustangs weren’t quite able to capitalize as much as their opponents. Bountiful’s Easton Aubuchon didn’t walk any batters during his four-plus innings on the mound. The southpaw only struck out one, but he was able to induce a wealth of groundballs and pop-ups.
Mountain Crest pulled a run back in the bottom of the fourth on a Kaden Deeter groundout, and another one inning later on an infield single by Schiess.
Schiess and Roundy both singled twice for the Mustangs. Roundy, who scored Mountain Crest’s third run, also reached on an error in his other plate appearance. The senior has gotten off to a strong start this season as he is batting .500 through eight games.
“I’m just thinking about hitting when I’m hitting,” Roundy said when asked about his success at the plate. “You can’t think about girls when you’re up to bat, so I’ve been pretty focused.”
Both teams finished with four base knocks apiece, which is a bit of an aberration for a Mountain Crest squad that has hit the ball well so far in 2021.
“We’ve been swinging the bats pretty well for the most part, and our pitchers are coming along,” Hansen said. “We’ve got a ways to go, but it’s been a good start to our season so far, and we’ve got two more games to prepare for region play.”
Mountain Crest catcher Hudson Phelps showcased his rocket of an arm by easily throwing out a would-be base stealer in the third frame.
OTHER BASEBALL GAMES
It was a great day for Ridgeline and Preston, which both steamrolled their opponents at home — Preston twice as it swept a doubleheader against Bear Lake by scorelines of 16-2 and 18-1. Meanwhile, Ridgeline also only needed five innings to dispatch of Granger, 10-0, plus pitchers Cameron Bott and Jakob Astle teamed up for a no-hitter.
Bott struck out seven and walked two in four complete, while Astle retired three of the four batters he faced in the fifth frame. The Riverhawks (4-4) were able to induce the mercy rule on a two-run single by Easton Dahlke in the bottom of the fifth.
Drew Jensen drove in three runs for Ridgeline, which got two RBIs from Miles Eck and two hits from Evan Webb and Carter Gill. Webb tripled, while Carter and Braxton Gill both doubled.
Ridgeline plated three runs in the second and third innings to take control.
“It was good to bounce back after losing that last one to Snow Canyon,” RHS head coach Paul Bowler said. “Cam Bott was dialed in on the mound and really set the tone for us. Jake Astle came in and did a great job to finish up with a combined no-hitter. We had some good at-bats and came up with some timely hits to score some runs.”
Preston (4-2) jumped out to a 12-1 lead after three innings and never looked back in Game 1 against Bear Lake. Lead-off batter Tate Greene went 8 for 9 at the plate in the twinbill for Preston, which racked up 15 base knocks in the opener and 19 in the nightcap.
Greene tripled, doubled and singled twice in the opener, plus chipped in with four runs and two RBIs. Justin Inglet contributed with three hits and a pair of runs and RBIs in Game 1 for the Indians, who two hits and three RBIs from Karson Chugg, and three runs, and two hits and two RBIs from Chayse Oxborrow.
Oxborrow also tripled and doubled for the hosts, who got doubles from Chugg, Inglet and Ashton Madsen. Preston pitchers Zeth Groll and Davon Inglet teamed up to allow two runs on eight hits. Groll fanned six in his three frames.
Greene came through with four hits, three runs and three RBIs in the nightcap, while Oxborrow contributed with four hits, four RBIs and two runs. Madsen drove in three runs and scored twice for Preston, which extended its winning streak to four and got a pair of hits and RBIs from Chugg, two runs and two hits from Justin Inglet and two RBIs from Trevyn Hadley.
Greene and Hadley both doubled.
Three Preston pitchers combined for eight strikeouts vs. three free passes, and limited the Bears to six hits.
“They had a few good pitchers today but we were able to hit,” Preston coach Kenny Inglet told the Idaho State Journal. “We worked hard on that after our loss to Highland, working on hitting high velocity and siting back on the off speed.”
Green Canyon was also in action Tuesday and lost on the road to Provo, 5-0. The Bulldogs limited the Wolves (6-2) to singles by Reece Hansen and Caden Stuart.
Mountain Crest hosted 6A Skyridge and earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the previous undefeated Skyhawks (6-1). The score was knotted up at 2-2 at the half.
Oliver Thompson contributed with a goal and an assist for Mustangs, and his game-winner was assisted by Gabe Newman. Thompson assisted on Preston Wiberg’s goal.
Zane Allen buried a penalty kick in the opening half for the Mustangs. It’s the center back’s third goal from the penalty spot this season.
“Skyridge is a great team, well coached and disciplined,” MC head coach Justin Beus said. “We learned a lot from playing them. We have some work to do, but I’m happy about our effort and how our guys played to the end.”
Green Canyon traveled to Waterford and left with a 15-10 victory. In the process, the Wolves (3-1) bounced back from their loss to Corner Canyon, which is arguably the best team in the entire state.
Mason Anderson scored six goals for Green Canyon, while Dustin Gasaway, Ian Maughan, Jake Lundin and Tucker Sampson netted two apiece, and Laker Sampson also scored.
“After the loss to No. 1 Corner Canyon last week, our seniors were committed to come back with a strong showing at Waterford,” GC head coach Troy Oldham said. “Waterford proved to be a really good team fundamentally, and although it took a while for our offense to ramp up, I’m really proud of how our guys continued to spread the field and share scoring around to get the five-point win. Our close defense really stood out with senior captain Luke Lee’s aggressive play, working together with senior captain Jacob Regen to isolate their top two scorers and shut them down the second half.”
Mountain Crest (1-4) was edged on the road by Judge Memorial, 9-6.
Madi Henrie led the way offensively for the Mustangs with three goals and one assist, followed by Kamrie Wilkinson with two goals and an assist. Charly Peck and Taryn Durham also found the back of the net for the visitors, while Aisha Porter was credited with an assist.