I got on my team because they were not intense to start the game. After about two innings, I tore into them to get them to focus a little more. That’s when they really started to play well. —Gunnison head coach Tyson Brackett
SPANISH FORK — Gunnison led Altamont 9-2 after two innings, but Bulldogs head coach Tyson Brackett was unhappy.
It wasn’t the score that bothered him, it was the lack of intensity.
“It always worries me,” he said of the lopsided 19-2 win over the Longhorns Thursday morning in the second round of the 2A state tournament. “You kind of want the competitive games right at the first. I got on my team because they were not intense to start the game. After about two innings, I tore into them to get them to focus a little more. That’s when they really started to play well.” Brackett said the new regions have meant more lopsided wins than a coach would like. The more competitive games may be tougher on the blood pressure, but they’re also much better prepared for the battles that will certainly come in the later rounds of the tournament.
The junior second baseman earned four RBIs, going 3-for-3 and a walk. “She had a great game,” Brackett said. “The RBIs were huge for us.”
Brackett said Winn came into this season much improved and more determined.
“She was, from the get-go, really tearing it up,” he said. She was dedicated to early-morning weight training, and she opened the season with home runs against 4A and 5A programs. “She can hit,” Brackett said. “She’s just figured it out, and it’s been a great addition to our other hitters.”
Third baseman Paige King had a breakout performance with a home run and a single.
“She ended the game with her home run,” he said. “She also went 2-for-3 with four RBIs, so it was a really good day for her.”
Brackett said this group of athletes has been playing together since they were 14. “In that first season, we played close to 100 games that year,” he said, laughing at the memory. “It’s been a fun group to have, and it’s nice to have six juniors.”
The No. 1 ranked Bulldogs will take on second-ranked Enterprise at 2 p.m. Friday. The Wolves beat North Sevier 16-0, also using the mercy rule.
Parowan upset Millard 7-5, while Beaver upset Duchesne 12-6. Beaver and Parowan will also play at 2 p.m. Friday, with winners and losers playing again that night for a shot at Saturday’s title game at noon.