On a windy, 45 degree, spring afternoon in Heber City, the Wasatch High school baseball team was hosting its second region game of the season and hoped to come away with another win. That was not to be, however, as the visiting Soaring Eagle from Juan Diego High stole the game away from the Wasps in the top of the seventh inning to earn a 7-6 victory.
Both teams came out slugging and combined for 23 hits, eight of them for extra bases. But it was the visitor's final hit that did in the Wasps. With a Juan Diego runner on second base, a Kyle Kelly pitch handcuffed catcher Tag Baxter and allowed the runner to break for third. Baxter’s throw was errant, bouncing in front of third baseman Mason Holmes as the runner slid into the bag. The throw bounced down the left field line and the tying run scored.
With two outs and the game seemingly headed for extra innings, a throwing error by Wasatch shortstop Austen Cloward allowed the go ahead run to cross the plate.
It was the fourth Wasp error in the game and a heartbreaking one for a team that was a couple of outs away from defeating one of its toughest region rivals.
Wasatch pounded the ball at the plate, hitting four doubles and a triple while gathering a total of 11 hits. Juan Diego had 12 hits, including three doubles.
Kelly (3-2) started on the hill for the Wasps and at times was dominant. In four of the seven innings he pitched, he held the Soaring Eagle scoreless. A Juan Diego three-run fifth inning that started with a two-out double and was followed by four straight hits was the turning point in the game.
Wasatch came roaring back in the bottom of the sixth, however. Jaxon Hermanson cracked a long double to start things off. Casey Peterson followed with a double of his own, scoring Hermanson. Then Kelly smacked a long triple into the right center gap.
Wasatch was in position with no outs to do some more damage and possibly put the game out of reach, but Kelly was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice. Juan Diego forced two quick outs after that and the Wasps settled for a one run lead going into the last frame. That’s when the Soaring Eagle forced the tying run around the bases and eventually scored the game winner.
The Wasps had three more outs in the bottom of the seventh to try and get the run back, but went down without a threat.
Wasatch, 7-5 overall, fell to 1-1 in Region 10 and Juan Diego moved to 3-0. The Wasps travel to Juan Diego on Thursday for the back half of the home and home series.
Kenny Bristow is the staff sports writer for the Wasatch Wave and contributes to the Deseret News high school coverage for the Wasatch region. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to DNews Preps for your area, enquire at 801.237.2143.