Prep baseball: Titans rolling, Eagles looking to keep pace
May 09, 2018 02:43PM
● By Josh McFadden
Skyline senior baseball player Dakota Porter waits for a pitch in a game earlier this season against West. (Photo/Paul Jensen)
By Josh McFadden | firstname.lastname@example.org
On the heels of a state championship in boys basketball, the Olympus baseball team is looking to make its own mark at the school.
Though the baseball team hasn’t been quite as dominant as the boys basketball team was in the winter, this Titan squad looks like the team to beat in Region 6.
Heading into its April 20 game at West—which wrapped up the three-game series with the Panthers—Olympus was a perfect 5-0 in region standings and an impressive 13-2 overall.
Olympus’ only losses up to that point came at the hands of Class 6A Fremont and Dixie. Both of the defeats came at the Kent Garrett Sunshine Classic in St. George.
Otherwise, Olympus has made life difficult for opponents.
The Titans began its region portion of the schedule April 10 with a series against Highland. Olympus allowed just seven total runs in the three games, winning 6-3, 14-4 and 1-0. In the 14-4 victory on April 11, Titan sluggers Ryder Vance and Hayden Curtis each hit home runs, while Gabe Singer added a pair of doubles. Olympus piled up 16 hits on the day.
Two days later, Curtis was showing his talents on the mound, getting the win as pitcher. He helped limit Highland to just four hits all game long.
Olympus moved on to face West in three consecutive games, beginning with a 13-0 shellacking on April 17. Curtis again hit a home run, as did teammate AJ Affleck. The Titans picked up their fourth shutout of the season and third in region play the following day at home against West.
On May 7, the Titans begin their final three-game series with a region foe when they face Murray at home.
The 2018 campaign didn’t start off on a good note for the Eagles, but they settled down as region games got underway.
Skyline opened the season with six losses, including four at the Snow Canyon Classic in mid-March in Washington County. However, the Eagles went 6-2 in their next eight games and started 3-1 in league action.
“It was a slow start, and players were frustrated,” said head coach Eric Morgan. “After our first win, we proved how we can be a good team. We have gained confidence after every game. I love the attitude right now, we are gaining confidence and momentum.”
The Eagles went 2-1 against West, winning 8-3 on April 10 and 9-7 on April 13. They dropped a 10-6 contest to the Panthers on April 11. In the second win, the Eagles held off a late Panthers’ rally and got triples from Luke Evans (who also hit a double) and Josh Kershaw. In their first victory over West, the Eagles gave up three runs in the first inning but shut out the Panthers the rest of the way. Skyline had 12 hits, as Evans picked up a pair of doubles.
Skyline also had a notable win on April 18 when it defeated Murray 11-5. The Eagles were hot from the plate, registering 15 hits, including doubles from Dakota Porter and Kershaw.
“We have a very young team with little varsity experience,” Morgan said. “I am very pleased with how the team has come together and with the leadership of our seniors. We still need to clean up some mental mistakes and get better execution.”
Skyline went 3-2 in the Class 4A state tournament last season. The Eagles and Titans must finish in the top four of Region 6 to qualify for the 5A tournament. The playoffs begin May 15.
Morgan said his team can reach the postseason if it can accomplish a few goals.
“If we play hard, come together as a team, throw strikes and make the routine plays, the wins will come,” Morgan said. “We have great kids who work hard, and that hard work has paid off.”