Mr. Baseball: Taylorsville's Dallas Carroll a true diamond warrior
Shortstop impetus in team's tournament run
Earlier in the week, Carroll crushed a go-ahead, two-run homer in an elimination game against defending 5A champion Bingham, helping propel the Warriors to a tense 5-4 win.
"That whole last week of the state tournament has probably been the best week of my baseball career," Dallas said. "Hitting that home run in the game against Bingham to put us up by one run was the best highlight, not only this year but of my whole high school career."
Coach Brown not only proudly proclaimed Dallas as the best defensive shortstop in the state, but credited the young man with being the team's key catalyst, a guy that continually got things started for the Warriors time after time.
"He set the pace for our team," Brown said. "He played shortstop, so he was our leader and solidified our team on the defensive end. Offensively, he was our leadoff hitter, and we started a lot of games going up 1-0 in the first inning because he started with a leadoff double and came around and scored. He really set the pace for everything that we do.
"Off the field and in practice situations, he's a lead-by-example type of player. He's very humble, and it's easy for us as coaches when our best player is as committed and works real hard like Dallas does. It's pretty hard for anybody else to take it easy in practice or in a game situation when our best player is also our hardest worker.
"He's well prepared for baseball at the next level because of that. He knows it's a competition, he knows nothing is going to be handed to him, he know he's going to have to keep that same work ethic," the Warriors' coach said. "He believes in that blue-collar type stuff where you put in full day's work and you earn what you keep."
Brown said Dallas' dynamic performance both offensively and defensively that earned him the Wolverines' team MVP award.
"Our players picked that because it seems like he's always in the middle of a big defensive play or a big offensive play for us," Brown said. "When we're struggling to score runs, he's the one that gets us going. When we're struggling on the mound or in the field, he's the one who makes the big play for us. He comes through in that situation time after time, and players remember that. There's a certain amount of comfort in being a teammate of his, knowing he's gonna come through for you in that situation.
"It seems like, especially in our state tournament run, we were starting out 1-0 a lot and got something going immediately a lot of the time because of Dallas. We're losing 1-0 to Bingham and Brady Lail is pitching, and Dallas comes up to bat and hits that two-run homer and gives us the lead. In our first game against American Fork, Dallas walks up to the plate in the first inning and laces a double and pretty soon we're up 1-0, and it's easy for the rest of the team to see that and feed off of that. There were too many stories like that for us this year to go unnoticed.
"If it's the bottom of seventh and we're up one run, we want the ball hit to Dallas. He's an ultra-competitive player," Brown said. "A lot of players are not great in that situation, but he's great in that situation. He's that guy that excels in that pressure situation."
Brown looks at Carroll's Mr. Baseball selection as something the entire Taylorsville program should be very proud of.
"Our entire team would be overwhelmingly excited for Dallas," Brown said. "We look at it as a team award, and we're excited for him to be Mr. Baseball and the player of the year in the state of Utah. I share that award with him as his coach, and our team shares that award with him as if it was our team winning the award.
"We had eight seniors that were incredible, who played an incredible leadership role for us and took our program to the next level, and we're going to miss all of them."