A six-run, fourth inning push by Judge Memorial ended the season for Red Devils baseball on Thursday, May 10 at Draper. The Bulldogs defeated Grand County, 9-7, in the lower bracket of the 3A state baseball tournament.
With the loss, the Red Devils end a brilliant year of baseball — one filled with a number of ups and downs — taking an overall record of 19-7 and tying with Richfield at 9-3 for the best record among the seven teams in Region 15.
Grand County earned the right to face the Bulldogs after defeating Morgan County 14-0 and suffering a 9-7 loss to Carbon on May 5 in the double-elimination tournament.
Grand County 7
Judge Memorial 9
The Red Devils broke out early, taking a 5-2 lead in the third inning, but were outpaced in the fourth inning as Judge made the most of a change in pitchers for Grand County — and smacked in seven more runs off 13 Bulldog batters.
The biggest offense of the day for Grand County came from senior Brayden Schultz as he recorded two runs and two hits, all while smacking in three Red Devil RBIs. Schultz also tapped two doubles off Bulldog pitcher Alex Niemann and stole two bases from the Bulldog infield. Senior Bruin Meador scored two runs and was walked twice during his four plate appearances, while another senior, relief pitcher Alec Williams, scored one run and recorded two hits. Senior starter Masen Ward took three at-bats, logging an RBI single, while fellow senior first-baseman Gage Hansen did the same, dinging an early game single to score a Red Devil runner. Senior Josh Jones and freshman Ryelan Denney scored a run each for Grand County. Senior Nick Downard’s only hit of the day also gave the Red Devils a double on the score sheet.
In the field, Hansen ended the season the way he played all along with a perfect 6-of-6 for stops at first base. Only an error by Williams prevented the Red Devils from a perfect fielding percentage, which came in at .966 on 18 stops out of a total 29 chances. Meador had a big day in left field with four assists on five hits and helped, along with Schultz and Brayden Cloud, on a double play to stop the Bulldogs.
For Meador, an outfielder who will graduate this year and plans a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the season was one of ups and downs, but constant brotherhood.
“No matter where we went, all the trips we took, we played together and worked together as a team,” Meador said. “You couldn’t ask for a better bunch of guys and coaches to play with. We did a lot of good things this season and even though it ended like this, I feel like we did our best.”
In Ward’s final appearance on the plate as a Red Devil starter he threw 80 pitches for four full innings and allowed three runs on five hits, all while walking five and striking out one of the 21 batters he faced. As relief, Alec Williams and Brody Williams allowed six more runs off six hits. The game ended with a combined ERA of 8.17 among the three Red Devil hurlers.
The Bulldogs fell to Juab in the next round of playoff action. In the 3A championship game held Saturday, May 12, the Grantsville Cowboys beat the Carbon Dinos 12-4 to claim the trophy for 2018.