KEARNS — Like he has been all season when on the mound, Grantsville’s Brady Arbon was in complete control during Thursday’s 3A quarterfinal game at Kearns High School.
Arbon went the distance, striking out nine batters and only allowing five hits as top-ranked Grantsville blanked Carbon 6-0 to march on in the all-important winners bracket.
“Brady never gets high, he never gets low. He’s just an even-keeled kid, and he just went out and dominated too. The fact that he was able to change speeds so well is why he dominated, and he threw strikes,” said Grantsville coach Aaron Perkins.
Brady only faced two jams all game, in the first and fourth inning, but quickly pitched his way out of them.
Carbon led off the game with a pair of singles, but Arbon struck out the side to quell the threat. In the fourth, he hit back-to-back batters but retired the next two batters. The Dinos only had two base runners the rest of the game.
“Once I got over the first couple pitches I started to hit my spots better and trust my defense,” said Arbon, who also went 3 for 4 at the plate.
Grantsville improved to 23-3 on the season with the victory and will play the winner of Richfield-Manti on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Kearns High School.
Carbon’s ace, Cody Lowe, was in great control as well through four innings as he allowed just two hits while striking out three.
Perkins wasn’t worried.
“We ask our kids to be patient, we ask our kids to grind because we know there are other good pitchers. That kid from Carbon threw the ball well. We were patient and kept grinding at-bats and fouling pitches off, and hope to get them later in the game, which we did,” said Lowe.
Carbon pulled Lowe with one out in the fifth inning to preserve his pitch count for future games, but the relief pitcher struggled with command and hit a batter with the bases loaded to help give Grantsville the 1-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Grantsville’s batters started tagging Carbon’s pitchers. Arbon tripled with one out and then scored on a Jacob Paxton single. Later in the inning, Arbon’s pinch runner Chace Gibson scored on a walk pushing the lead to 3-0.
“Those extra runs really helped with the comfort (on the mound) cause I knew we had a little bit of a cushion and I just had to go out and get outs,” said Arbon.
In the seventh, Justin Richardson ripped a bases-clearing double to right center to increase the lead to 6-0.