PROVO — Provo opened up the 2019 baseball season by blanking rival Timpview, 10-0. But the game took on a more important meaning as the Bulldog program took time out to honor Provo City law enforcement and the family of Provo police officer Joseph Shinners, who was killed on duty on Jan. 5.
Held by his mother, Kaylyn, Logan Shinners, the couple's 1-year-old son, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. An honor guard of Provo City police officers presented the colors for the national anthem while several other officers came in support. Two helicopters also did a fly over.
“This was a program-wide thing. They wanted to do something to honor law enforcement officers and the Shinners,” said Provo head baseball coach Lance Moore. "We want (the police officers) to know how much we appreciate them and how much we appreciate the Shinners."
Roy Edwards, who for the past seven years has served as the school's resource officer, was pleased with the recognition.
“Having the school support the entire Provo police department was awesome. We really appreciate it,” Edwards said.
Austin Rowberry, a 2004 graduate of Provo High School and an all-state player in the program coached by Moore, echoed Edwards' sentiments.
“I’m super proud to be a Bulldog,” Rowberry said. “I’m proud that Coach Moore and the program recognizes the officers and their sacrifices, and the Shinners’ family.”
Beyond that, with the construction of the new Provo campus which opened this fall, the program actually got to play a home baseball game on campus.
For approximately 60 years, Provo played baseball at Timp Park, a city-owned facility about a half mile away from the old campus. But Timp Park was leveled to make way for the new Provo Recreation Center so since 2012, the played at field nearly three miles away from campus. But that all changed when the new school was built on the extreme west side of the city.
The Provo head coach is extremely excited about what having a baseball field on campus can mean to the program.
“We almost had 60 dudes try out for baseball, which is close to double what we typically have,” Moore said. “I hope it is something that awakens baseball in Provo City and also awakens baseball at Provo High School.”
Moore's son Walker played a significant role in the actual game, pitching one-hit baseball over four innings, fanning nine Thunderbird hitters. Walker Moore also went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI's and two runs scored.Comment on this story
"With Timpview, it's always an emotionally charged game," said Walker Moore. "We love to get out there and get out in front which we did."
Provo plated six runs in the first frame and never looked back. Outfielder Ryan Harward secured the first-ever hit and first-ever run in the new facility. Nolan Opp provided the first runs batted in as his single in the first inning plated two runs. And Tyler Martinez had the first extra base hit as his double in the bottom of the fifth brought two Provo runners home, which ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule.