We started a battle cry at the beginning of the year. It was: 'We’ve been to the top of the mountain but we’ve never walked over to the other side and drank the water.' This year we want to get a taste of that water on the other side of that mountain. —Curt Heslington, Beaver High School baseball coach
Beaver has tasted its fair share of state championships since its inception — 32 combined banners hang from the rafters, in fact.
However, the top ranked and unscathed Beavers have never captured a state title in baseball. As the 2A postseason buckles around the bend, Beaver enters with statistically the best defense in the state, two pitchers with a combined 15-0 record on the mound and an average run-differential of 11-1.
It might be the year to finally quench that insatiable thirst.
“We started a battle cry at the beginning of the year,” Beaver coach Curt Heslington said. “It was: 'We’ve been to the top of the mountain but we’ve never walked over to the other side and drank the water.' This year we want to get a taste of that water on the other side of that mountain.”
Beaver (16-0) is led by Sam Myers, who is 9-0 on the dirt this season, which is tied for the most wins in the state and is the most without a loss. He’s also added 13 doubles, two triples and two homers. The Beavers also have second-day pitcher Tilston Bradshaw, who is 6-0.
“Sam’s been doing this since basically his freshman and sophomore year and he’s just carried on since then,” Heslington said. “He’s a pretty good-sized kid that throws with good velocity. He’s got a good breaking ball, hits his locations very well, tends to not walk a lot of batters — makes them put the ball in play. “
The Beavers have hopscotched through their schedule with relative ease. In 16 games this season, they’ve surrendered only 22 runs — the lowest margin in the state by 26.
“I knew that our statistics were off the charts. Our philosophy has always been run-differential; pitching and defense is what wins ballgames,” Heslington said. “You can manufacture runs if you got an athletic team, but if you’re solid on the defensive side — most times you’re going to be in the ballgame.”
Manti (16-2) is the top candidate to up-end the Beavers' quest. After dropping the first two games of the season, including a 7-4 setback against Beaver in the Chuck Wagon Classic, the Templars have won 16 straight.2 comments on this story
Heslington noted that wacky things tend to happen in the postseason.
“I don’t think it’s a two horse race at all — there’s some good teams out there,” he said. “(In) 2A baseball, you get the right kid on the mound at the right time and a couple balls bounce the wrong way, you just never know how it’s going to go.”
Grand, Parowan, Emery and Gunnison should all serve as tough outs.