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Valley Journals

Cottonwood baseball stunned in state quarters, eliminated in one-loss bracket

Jun 28, 2018 04:24PM ● By Brian Shaw

Junior Dylan Reiser pitches against Skyline in the state tournament. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Brian Shaw | brian.shaw@mycityjournals.com 

If anyone would have gone into the Class 5A state baseball tournament saying that they thought Cottonwood would have any chance at being eliminated so early on, you might think that person has a screw loose.

But, that's exactly what happened to the defending state champions. The Colts waltzed through a first round, 20-1 pasting of Wasatch.

Then, they battled a much more difficult opponent in Skyline, hanging on for a 6-3 victory as they moved on to a state quarterfinal matchup with Skyridge.

And that's precisely where the wheels began falling off. The Falcons traveled to Kearns High School to take on the Colts on May 21 in a Class 5A winners bracket game.

Through three innings the Cottonwood baseball team and Skyridge remained scoreless.

Then, Skyridge took a page out of the old playbook Cottonwood used to great success last year, manufacturing three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead—which the Falcons would hold thanks in large part to pitcher Carter Smith, who continued to pitch shutout ball to hand the Colts a 3-0 loss.

That moved Cottonwood into the one-loss bracket, putting the Colts hopes of going back-to-back in peril.

Cottonwood not only had to play this do-or-die game for the first time in several years, it also had to recover from the stunning upset it just endured and get back on the field several hours later to play a talented Olympus team.

And so the reeling Colts took the field against Olympus needing to win to stay alive. Olympus got things rolling with a run in the first inning. Things would stay scoreless through three innings until Cottonwood scored on an RBI double to knot the game at 1-1 going into the bottom of the fourth.

Olympus would hammer in four runs—including a homer from Hayden Curtis—to go up 5-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Cottonwood would only be able to score two runs in that inning, reducing Olympus' advantage to 5-3 heading into the sixth inning. Then Olympus pasted in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 7-3—a lead it would hold for the rest of the game, sending the Colts home early for the summer with the most unlikely of upsets to have happened in recent memory.