<strong>LOGAN—</strong> The Mountain Crest and Logan baseball rivalry is one of the best in the state. And the latest meeting between the teams showed why.
The Mustangs came away with a 12-7 victory over the Grizzlies in a game that featured lots of hits, several errors and plenty of exciting plays. Mountain Crest (10-9, 7-3 region) handed Logan (12-8, 8-2) its first loss in eight games and the Mustangs extended their winning streak to five games.
“It was fun baseball, just a great baseball game,” MC head coach Alex Hansen. “There was a lot of back and forth there. I’m really proud of my guys. We stepped up and hit the ball really well today. We also ran the bags aggressively.”
Mountain Crest got on the board first and never relinquished its lead the rest of the night. After the Mustangs scored the first four runs of the game, Logan started to answer back with a two run effort in the bottom of the fourth.
“We preach all year long about how it’s important to come out and score first,” Hansen said. “When you can do that in a game it’s a huge momentum burst for you. We also talk a lot about answering back and today those were both things that came into play. We also talk about scoring with two outs on us. When we put up those three runs in the second, I think every single one of those runs came with two outs. Our hitters stepped up and did a great job in that situation.”
The game wasn’t easy for Mountain Crest. The Grizzlies made a run at the Mustangs several times throughout the game. Logan scored five runs between the fourth and fifth innings to cut the MC lead to two, but Mountain Crest answered right back with a huge four-run sixth inning taking an 11-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
“Very obviously we have to make plays,” Logan head coach Mike Hansen said. “Defensively we didn’t make some of those plays. Credit to Mountain Crest because they hit the ball well and they kept attacking but we just have to make plays. I’m proud of our kids for not quitting. They kept competing, but we have just got to learn to play catch.”
Both coaches went to their bullpens during the game to try to stop the barrage of runs being scored. Logan started the game with Chase Nelson on the mound but changed pitchers after Nelson gave up seven runs in four and two-thirds innings. The Mustangs gave McKay Smith the start at pitcher, who allowed only two runs in four innings. Cole Stocker replaced Smith but was quickly replaced himself by Nick Taylor who finished the game at the mound for MC.
“Hats off to McKay Smith, he stepped up on a big stage,” MC’s coach Hansen said. “He’s a young kid but he was around the zone and got us going. It was just a great game overall.”
Both teams hit the ball well but the errors on both sides were huge in allowing runs to come in. The lights contrasting the dark of the sky seemed to affect the defensive efforts of both teams.
“No question it affected things,” Mike Hansen said. “We don’t usually play under the lights. We don’t practice under them so it definitely has an affect but that’d be an excuse. Both teams had to deal with the lights. We’ve just got to sharpen things up.”
Mountain Crest’s coach had similar thoughts.
“It’s definitely an adjustment,” he said. “A lot of these kids haven’t had a lot of opportunities to play under the lights so it’s something new for them, but hopefully it’s something they’ll get used to.”
Mountain Crest continues region play as they host Box Elder Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. The Grizzlies look to take out their frustrations against the Roy Royals in Logan the same day at 3:30 as well.
“We’re okay,” Mike Hansen said. “I love this group. It’s a great bunch of guys. We’ll be alright. We don’t quit. We’ll keep going.”