OREM — Dalan Bennett understood that one more good game was all his team needed. So that's what he gave them.
The junior pitcher threw a complete-game seven innings on Monday to get the win for Panguitch that propelled them into the 1A state championship game against rival Wayne on Tuesday.
Then less than 24 hours later, Bennett took the mound again and hurled seven more innings while giving up just four hits to lead his team to a 10-1 victory and their second 1A state title in three years.
"I'm a little bit sore," Bennett said with a smile after the game. "But this feels great, it's awesome."
Panguitch's victory avenged a 3-1 loss to Wayne in last year's 1A state title game. The two teams have combined for every 1A championship over the last six years, with Wayne winning three straight from 2006 to 2008 and again last year, and Panguitch taking the title in 2009 and this season.
Wayne entered the game on a 12-game winning streak, with its last loss before Tuesday's game coming on Aug. 20 in a 5-4 setback to Panguitch.
"They (Wayne) have had great kids, and it's become such a great rivalry," Panguitch head coach Clint Barney said.
Panguitch scored a single run in each of the first three innings. In each case, the Bobcats plated runs on errors by the Badgers.
All the while, Bennett was pitching a solid game, inducing lots of groundouts and trusting his teammates.
"I had the best defense behind me," Bennett said. "We just had a lot of confidence."
Bennett was so effective, in fact, he had a no-hitter going through five innings before giving up back-to-back hits and a single run in the sixth.1 comment on this story
The Bobcats' big inning came in the fifth, when they scored five times on six hits.
Panguitch added a run in its half of the sixth inning and another in the seventh.
"We have a lot of confidence that we can hit," Clint Barney said of his team's 14-hit parade. "And we were pretty good defensively."
Panguitch completed the season with a 17-4 record, while Wayne finished 17-5.