High school baseball: Cottonwood uses complete team effort to beat Alta 11-1 in 5 innings
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Cottonwood baseball team ended its three-game series with Region 3 foe Alta with an impressive 11-1 win in five innings. The Colts used a consistent barrage of hits in the third and fourth innings along with some stellar defense to avoid the sweep and get off the snide in region play.
“A loss today would have been bad, but our guys really played well — it was a complete team effort, which you love as a coach,” said Cottonwood coach Jason Crawford. “A loss today wouldn’t have been catastrophic, but it would’ve been bad for the season. We’ve been struggling, so it was good to win a game like this.”
The Colts scored their 11 runs on 11 hits and didn’t record a single error while Alta struggled defensively, committing five errors overall. Cottonwood pitcher Hunter Smith led the team's defensive effort after getting off to a shaky start.
“Hunter did a great job locating pitches and working his way out of some tough situations early,” Crawford said. “It was just his second start of the season, so him pitching like that against a team like Alta is exciting to see and a great thing for our team.”
Alta’s single run came in the top of the first inning courtesy of a Kade Mathews RBI double with no outs. From there, Smith bought two ground-outs, the second of which hung up Mathews between home plate and third base and eventually led to a double-play when Cole Meyer was thrown out trying to take second after the tag-out.
Alta threatened again in the top of the second after Hunter issued three walks. From there he regained his composure, however — striking out two of the last three batters to get out of the inning.
From that point on it was all Cottonwood.
With the game tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the third, every Colt batter in the order took a turn at the plate — eventually stringing together six singles and six runs to build a commanding 7-1 lead. The effort was led by a 2-run RBI from Andrew Goodfellow, with Dylan Cooley and Martin Chagnovich adding RBI singles of their own.
“That’s the way we have to do things on this team because we don’t really have big hitters in our lineup,” Crawford said. “We’re not a team that is going to overpower you, but we do have guys who can make good contact and place the ball where it needs to go. We did that in the third, and that was obviously a good inning for us.”
Cottonwood’s momentum continued into the next inning where three more singles provided three more runs and extended the lead to 10-1.
Following a scoreless top of the fifth, the Colts sort of broke form in the bottom of the fifth to cut the game short and come away with the 11-1 win. Nate Gardner led off the inning with a long-ball that went for a double before Jake Marvos brought him home with a similar hit.
“It was nice to end it quick like that because Alta is the type of team you don’t want hanging around,” Crawford said. “This region is tough, but I think a win like this will give us a lot of confidence going forward into conference play.”
With the win, the Colts improve to 1-2 in region play and 6-6 overall. They will play a three-game series with Jordan next week. Alta drops to 2-1 in region play and 8-5 overall and will next take on Copper Hills in a three-game series.
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