Cottonwood baseball nearly rips through its preseason unscathed
May 09, 2018 04:51PM
● By Brian Shaw
By Brian Shaw | firstname.lastname@example.org
For almost a month, the Cottonwood Colts baseball team didn't lose a single game. Over their first three games of the preseason, the Colts scored 32 runs, forcing two opponents to succumb to the 10-run rule before seven innings were even completed.
Despite losing two-thirds of their ace pitching staff—including Washington State-bound Hayden Rosenkrantz, last year's Class 5A MVP—the Colts also picked up their rotation right where they left off having won a state championship.
Three different Cottonwood pitchers won their first three games on the 2018 season, allowing in order one, six and two hits, respectively in wins over Syracuse, West Jordan and Wasatch.
As the Colts continued playing through March, tougher opponents awaited them in Dixie and Copper Hills and defending Class 6A state champion Timpanogos. If Cottonwood were to have fallen at all it would probably have come against these three teams.
But, the defending Class 5A champion Colts showed that mettle that they displayed at last year's state playoffs. Against Dixie on March 23, the Colts needed a game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning and so they got it, eking out a 3-2 win.
Against Copper Hills, the homestanding Colts watched as the visitors smacked four runs in the first two innings—then they answered with five runs of their own en route to a 6-4 victory on March 27.
And then to close out the month of March, the Colts traveled to Timpanogos March 30 to take on the team that many experts consider to be Cottonwood's toughest competition in Class 5A this year.
The Colts fell behind 1-0 in the first inning before they responded with three runs in the top of the second. The game then seesawed before Cottonwood put the game away with a double from Dalton Hodge in the top of the seventh inning to secure a tough 7-6 victory.
The Colts then traveled to Las Vegas for the Desert Classic tournament, taking on teams from the U.S. and Canada. Cottonwood won three out of four games in Vegas, losing their first game of the season to nationally ranked Liberty High out of Nevada.
In that loss against Liberty on April 6, the Colts held the Las Vegas-based school to three hits—all of which were home runs that Cottonwood pitchers gave up en route to a 7-2 loss.
Cottonwood (2-1, 11-2) then opened region play back at home the following week against Jordan, winning two of three games. The Colts have been led thus far on the mound by two juniors, Porter Hodge and Dylan Reiser.
Hodge carries a 5-1 record on the season, while Reiser is 4-0. The Colts bats are heating up as well, as Porter's twin brother Dalton leads the team with eight doubles. Junior Jason Luke and sophomore Ross Dunn have four doubles on the year.