WEST JORDAN – The Delta Rabbits and Stansbury Stallions faced off in an elimination game in the 3A State Tournament Thursday afternoon, hoping to keep their seasons alive.
Delta was able to come away with the 4-1 win, eliminating the Stallions from the playoffs.
Kaydon Hughes was 1-2 with an RBI, and also made a fantastic diving play in center field — a pivotal moment in the game.
“Man, it felt great,” said a beaming Hughes. “I was just trying to help my pitcher out any way that I could, and do my job.”
The Stallions threatened in the top of the first when Jackson Clausing and Jake Witkowski both got into scoring position with one out. Marcos Chacon hit a deep fly to right which looked to be enough to score Clausing, but Delta right fielder Colton Chappell rocketed a throw to the plate to throw Clausing out to end the inning and save a run.
Neither team showed any signs of offense until the bottom of the third when Delta drew first blood. Ryan Petersen and Hughes each hit an RBI single into right field and the score was 2-0 in favor of Delta.
Stansbury got something brewing in the fifth when Jesse Clingman stepped up to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. Clingman hammered one into left center field, and appeared to have at least two RBI’s and a base hit. But the center fielder, Hughes, sprinted to his right and made a fantastic diving play to end the inning and preserve a 2-0 Delta lead.
Delta extended its lead to 4-0 in the fifth off of a two RBI single from Kipp Edwards, and the Rabbits appeared to have all the momentum.
Trailing 4-0 in the sixth, Stansbury was finally able to get on the board when Matt Lindsley drove in a run to make it 4-1 and the Stallions had life.
After a one-two-three inning, it appeared as if the Stallions had a chance in the seventh inning. With two outs, Chacon reached on an infield hit, and Jesse Clingman hit a double off the wall in left field. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Trevor Clingman was the tying run at the plate. Clingman stepped in and flew out to the second baseman to end the game.
“We worked on defense all week this week,” Hughes said. "We knew they were a great team, and it paid off for us.”
Delta moves on to play the winner of the Payson vs. Morgan game Thursday night in Kearns.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a junior at Stansbury High School.