Enterprise may have become the first Utah prep baseball team to claim six consecutive titles but the Wolves needed to go extra innings _ a sacrifice fly, a couple of throwing errors and routine fly ball lost in the sun that resulted in a four-run ninth _ before downing St. Joseph's 7-3 in Wednesday's 1A championship game at Brigham Young University.
While Enterprise may have scored the winning runs by bizarre methods, there was nothing quirky about the pitching of Eric Hilliard, who went the distance allowing only four hits while striking out 22 of his Ogden-based opponents.
Only five St. Joseph outs were recorded other than by strikeouts.
Meanwhile, the Jays had an impressive outing as well by Dan Nailen, who struck out 16 while allowing only three hits through eight innings until the fateful ninth. Nailen also worked out of several jams in the middle innings _ including a couple of instances with runners at second and third.
No wonder, then, that both pitchers had no-hitters going until the sixth inning, although both teams had advanced runners and scored earlier on various combinations of walks, errors, stolen bases, wild pitches and passed balls.
Tied at 3-3 after the seven regulation innings, Enterprise started the ninth with back-to-back one-out hits by Wade Huntsman and Jeremy Ybright, with an infield throwing error putting the runners at second and third. Galen Jones clubbed a sacrifice fly to left, scoring not only Huntsman but also Ybright, thanks to an errant throw to third from the outfield.
The Wolves added to the 5-3 score, with Kam Robinson walking and Kayle Chambers singling to set up Hilliard's towering fly to left which left fielder Terry Greely lost while having to look into the setting sun.
Hilliard's hit dropped untouched for a two-RBI double, dashing any come-from-behind hopes for the Jays.