Olympus baseball shares region title
May 30, 2019 02:39PM
By Josh McFadden
The Olympus Titans won 11 of their last 12 games to claim a share of the Region 6 baseball title. (Photo courtesy of Dave Bagley)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The accolades continue for Olympus sports this school year.
After stellar campaigns in football in the fall and boys basketball in the winter, the Titans’ baseball team added to the trophy case with a co-championship in Region 6. Olympus went 11-4 in league play, sharing the title with Highland. However, the Titans earned the No. 1 seed for the playoffs by beating Highland two out the teams’ three meetings.
In amassing 11 wins in 15 league contests, the Titans swept West and East, they beat Skyline twice in three tries and picked up a victory over Murray.
Head coach Cortland Felts was happy with the way the players paid attention to the details of the game.
“I think we have done a lot of things well this season,” Felts said. “Specifically, we have pitched the ball well and run the bases well, which is something I put a big emphasis on. Additionally, I thought we have been good in situations that were important; our batting average with runners in scoring position was substantially higher than our overall team batting average. Timely hits with two outs was also very impressive this year. Timely hits and running the bases well, coupled with good pitching, is a decent recipe for success.”
Felts highlighted his pitchers, who played a big role in holding opponents to an average of 4.7 runs a game in region play. Senior Jack Holberg, a three-sport athlete, led the team with six wins and an ERA of 1.86. He also had the most complete games and shutout on the squad. Fellow senior Noah Bagley was the team leader in innings pitched and in strikeouts with 47. Another senior pitcher, Tyson Blanchard, picked up five wins this season.
“They have been our three starters and have been great,” Felts said. “They have come up big in multiple situations.”
Offensively, juniors Nolan Martin, Frankie Goodson, Zach Alder and Ryan Thomas, along with Holberg and senior teammate Jonah Pingree, hit the ball well all year.
“It has been a real team effort this year on the offensive side, and I have been happy with the production we got out of all the players, which has led to a lot of our success this year,” Felts said.
Looking back on the regular season, Felts said he was happiest about the resiliency the players showed. No one got down on themselves or on the team, even after the Titans lost their first three region games.
“This group could have easily mailed in the season from there, but instead they did just the opposite and proceeded to win 11 of our last 12 games to win the region,” he said. “That was impressive.”
The weather wasn’t friendly to Olympus or any baseball teams along the Wasatch Front. Snow and rain required rescheduling of games and modifications to the practice schedule. Olympus had no returning varsity starters coming into this season, and Felts was hoping the preseason would help the coaches see players in different situations and get a feel for who played well in various scenarios. Felts said coaches were “robbed of this opportunity” due to Mother Nature, but his players responded incredibly well and figured things out.
Winning region was the highlight of the year for Felts, especially in a season where he didn’t think many people expected much out of his team.
“It was a great season, and we had a lot of fun,” he said. “We have lots of good memories and impressive performances. Winning the region title was icing on the cake, and from a coaching standpoint it was definitely one of the most rewarding seasons. Watching these young men compete, grow, succeed and rise to situations that required it are what makes coaching rewarding and fun.”
Olympus advanced to the Class 5A state tournament, finishing the double-elimination playoffs with a 2-2 record. The Titans breezed past Wasatch 9-2 in the first round May 13. Holberg was the winning pitcher, and the Titans collected 11 hits on the afternoon. The following day, Olympus fell to defending champion Jordan in the second round by a score of 7-1.
The Titans would defeat region rival Highland 3-2, before falling two days later to Corner Canyon.