KEARNS — Before he could bring some order to what was shaping into a wild slugfest, Beaver pitcher Colton Kreth first had to settle himself down.
Kreth entered in the second inning of Beaver's 15-10 win over Enterprise in the winners' bracket final of the 2A state tournament on Friday afternoon with his team reeling. Enterprise was in the midst of an eight-run inning, and it took some time for Kreth to find his groove.
Kreth walked three of the first five batters he faced, and was charged with allowing four runs before getting out of the second. But by the time he came out and pitched the third, Kreth's Beavers had gotten him a lead and he was a brand new pitcher.
"My coaches relaxed me, making me know its just another game, no big deal," Kreth said. "My whole thing was just getting back to (realizing) it's just baseball, nothing special."
Kreth helped bring some normalcy to a game that Beaver coach Randy Hunter likened to a "church league softball championship" in the early innings. Kreth, a junior and three-year starter, allowed just two hits in the final four innings he pitched.
"He came in and it was stormy, and he just kind of rode through it," Hunter said of Kreth. "He pitched a great game."
And the Beavers' bats were great against Enterprise — just like they were against Gunnison on Thursday and for much of the season. Beaver cranked out 17 hits against the Wolves, including six doubles. After giving up eight runs in the second, Beaver responded by scoring eight runs in the third to take a 12-8 lead.
"What I was most impressed with was we booted the ball around for them to get their eight runs, but we came back that next inning and just started pounding the ball in the gaps," Hunter said. "I think that in itself was a statement for our kids that, 'you know what, we got a shot at this. We got a chance.' Any time you can hit the ball like that, you're going to have a chance to win."
Beaver got some big hits from Lyndon Bradshaw (RBI double), Seth Myers (RBI single), Dallon Murdock (RBI double) and Landon Smith (two-run single) in the third inning. Alex Whitbeck paced the team's offense with three hits and scored four runs.
Kreth said there was no reason to panic after Enterprise went ahead 8-4 because the Beavers had made comebacks in other games this season.
"We've been doing it all year," he said. "When we get down, we usually jump on them."
Kreth lasted until the seventh, when he was replaced by sophomore Sam Myers. Enterprise loaded the bases in the final inning, but the younger of the two Myers' recorded two strikeouts and got a groundout to end the game.
Beaver and Enterprise will play again today on the final day of the tournament with the Beavers needing to defeat the Wolves once for the state title.Comment on this story
Enterprise, after committing six errors against Beaver, had a much cleaner performance in a 6-4 win over North Sevier in the final game on Friday. Morgun Phelps had two hits and an RBI, and pitched the final two innings to record the save. Jade Hulet threw five innings and was the winning pitcher.
Beaver and Enterprise have played four times this season with the Beavers holding a 3-1 edge. Hunter doesn't mind having a rivalry game determine the 2A champion.
"There's no love lost between Beaver and Enterprise that's for sure," Hunter said. "I grew up in West Valley and went to Granger, and if people want to see true rivalries you got to come down to the small towns where people just live for athletics. Our fans came out in droves (Friday) and I'm sure today there will be even more. They'll shut the whole town down."