<strong>HYRUM—</strong> Move over Mountain Crest, there’s a new champ in town.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Logan baseball team got the job done in extra innings with a 4-3 win over the Mustangs Tuesday in Hyrum to earn its first Region 5 baseball title in more than 20 years.
“If you’re going to win one, it’s pretty appropriate to beat the team that has set the standard for so long,” Logan head coach Mike Hansen said. “That was huge. The way the game started, the guys probably could have gotten down, but talk about a group that just hung in. Their character, they’re resilient.”
The Grizzlies spoiled senior day for Mountain Crest – two-time defending region champs and winners of four of the last seven region titles ¬– jumping on top in the first inning on an RBI-single from Zack Rich to score Isaac Rhea.
Rhea was hit by a pitch to start the inning, moved to second on a single from Chapman Walk and to third on a fielder’s choice hit by Chase Nelson before Rich brought him home.
Logan nearly added a second run a batter later when Nelson went home, but the umpire ruled Nelson out for lowering his shoulder and running over the Mustangs catcher, earning him an ejection and one game suspension.
“We were all kind of shocked, we were just like ‘What do we do?’” said Logan senior Jesse Braddy, who tallied the winning run for the Grizzlies. “But you know, we fought through it. He was a big part of it in the dugout. He kept everyone going and kept their spirits up. He’s a good leader on this team.”
Mountain Crest answered back to tie the game in the second inning on an RBI-single to right field from Jack Godfrey, but the Mustangs were unable to capitalize further on a pair of Logan errors and left the bases loaded.
“We didn’t get the job done on every level,” Mountain Crest head coach Alex Hansen said. “We had opportunities to score some runs, we left runners in scoring position, the defense hurt us. We just struggled on some of the major facets of the game.”
Both teams failed to convert on errors from the opposition early on as the Grizzlies left two runners in scoring position in the third inning, despite having two on with nobody out.
The Mustangs made it 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-single by Spencer Coombs, but Logan tied the game again in the fourth on a sacrifice fly. Nick Taylor’s RBI-double in the fourth scored Scott Henderson, but Mountain Crest was unable to plate any more runs the rest of the way.
Errors and wild pitches aided both teams throughout, but it was the Grizzlies that made the opportunities count down the stretch. Eric Laub scored on a wild pitch to tie the game in the top of the seventh, and Braddy scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth that proved to be the game-winner.
“It went behind Jack (Godfrey) and I saw he didn’t know where it was so I went,” Braddy said. “It’s pretty big. After football, we felt kind of cheated, kind of robbed, so this makes up for it. This was a big game. We needed this one. Especially at their place, it makes it pretty good too.”
Logan improved to 15-9 overall on the season, including 11-3 in Region 5 to lock up the region title and the region’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Mountain Crest can secure the No. 2 seed with a win in its final region game of the season on Wednesday in a rematch against the Grizzlies.
A loss could knock the Mustangs to the No. 3 seed should Sky View win its final regular season game at Roy. However, all three teams will participate in the state tournament, which starts Tuesday, May 14.