Cottonwood baseball title defense ends in quarterfinals
May 24, 2018 01:28PM
● By Brian Shaw
Junior Dylan Reiser pitches against Skyline in the state tournament. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | firstname.lastname@example.org
Roughly one year after the Cottonwood Colts baseball team made history by winning a Class 5A state title for the first time in eight years, they're trying to accomplish the feat again.
So far, so good. The Colts have won their first two games at this year's Class 5A state playoffs. On May 15, Cottonwood manhandled Wasatch in just five innings, winning 20-1 to move on to the second round of action.
In the second round, the Colts outlasted Skyline 6-3 on May 16 to stay in the winners' bracket and continue their run at yet another state tournament. Skyridge awaited Cottonwood in the quarterfinals where they blanked the Colts 3-0.
The Colts appeared to be a vastly younger and more inexperienced squad on paper this year than the one that had several players bound for NCAA Division I schools in 2017 — including Washington State-signee and Class 5A MVP, pitcher/infielder Hayden Rosenkrantz.
But, this so-called inexperience in 2018 hasn't stopped the Colts from posting a near-flawless preseason record of 10-1— nor claiming a share of a region title.
In many ways, these Colts might be even better than last year's bunch. Their record thus far is even better than that of the 2017 team. At 22-3 overall, Cottonwood gets its scoring from sophomore outfielder Ross Dunn who has smashed a team-record eight home runs for the Colts, to go along with seven doubles.
Dunn has also posted a sparkling 5-0 record on the mound for Cottonwood, who also gets plenty of run production from junior Daniel Gonzalez, a 5-foot-10-inch Cuban exile who has hit 13 doubles and four triples this season.
Then there are the Hodge brothers. Dalton, a junior, is Cottonwood's No. 1 run producer, having hit 14 doubles, three triples and one home run. His twin brother Porter is the Colts' ace on the mound, posting a 9-1 record to go with eight doubles, a triple and a home run.
Junior Dylan Reiser has also done his part on the mound with a 6-1 record.
As anyone can see, Cottonwood gets its scoring from just about everyone and it can score in so many ways that it's hard for opposing teams to focus on just one player.
That aspect of the Colts' well-rounded game will be doubly important as the state playoffs progress. It helped the team reach the quarterfinals, but ultimately fell to Olympus to end the Colts’ title defense.