Cougars play baseball games at Smith’s BallparkApr 26, 2021 12:45PM ● By Greg James
Isaac Luckhart prepares for his at bat in Smith’s Ballpark. He singled and scored a run. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The baseball team at Kearns High School got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Cougars took on the West Jordan Jaguars at Smith’s ballpark, the home of the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.
“I think the kids really enjoyed playing there,” Cougars head baseball coach Dave Ballard said.
The double-header was made possible by the school administration. The teams had scheduled three games in two days, but because of the weather, the last game had to be postponed and moved to another venue.
Kearns came out on the wrong end of both games. It lost the first game 9-4, and then after a short break, lost the second 9-6.
“We would have much rather been on the winning end,” Ballard said.
In the opening game, the Cougars managed nine hits. Junior Aviry Kelly threw five innings and allowed seven earned runs. He managed three strikeouts but was credited with the loss. CJ Mumford had two shutout innings in relief.
Kolby Jones and Raul Zapata each had two hits. Junior Isaac Luckhart had two runs batted in and stole a base. The Cougars rallied in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs but fell short.
The nightcap started slowly, both teams dealt with a strong wind blowing in from left field. West Jordan jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Kearns scored four in the third inning to cut into the deficit.
Junior Kolby Jones pitched five solid innings, allowing 10 hits and only one earned run. He struck out seven and did not allow a walk. Senior Jacob Wood pitched the final two innings. He struck out four batters.
Mumford had three hits, including a double, to lead the Cougars.
At press deadline, Kearns stands at 5-7 and is ranked 19th in the most recent ratings performance index.
The Utah High School Activities Association is scheduled to begin its state tournament on May 15. The tournament is set up slightly different this year. The first round is the best-of-three series. The winners advance to the second-round super regional to face the top eight teams who advanced with byes. The super region winners will advance into a double-elimination tournament to determine the state champion.
The state tournament finals are scheduled for May 28 and 29 at Utah Valley University.
Kearns has never won a state baseball championship.