by Tad Barton
The San Juan Broncos baseball team played a pair of doubleheaders last week. The first came against Manti at home on Monday, April 8 and the second was on the road against North Sanpete on Friday, April 12.
In both of their wins, a 14-2 stomping of Manti and a 5-4 win over North Sanpete, the Broncos relied on great hitting and pitching and played clean defensively.
In the losses, San Juan was bit by the error bug, combining for nine errors that led to a combined 13 unearned runs.
Four of those errors and four unearned runs came against Manti in a 9-6 loss and the other five errors and eight unearned runs against North Sanpete in an 8-2 defeat.
In their first game with Manti, San Juan only trailed once, 2-1, after the second inning.
From that point on it was all Broncos. They scored two runs in the third, four in the fourth, and capped the game off with a seven-run seventh, cruising to a 14-2 win.
Trez Perkins hit a monster triple off his first pitch to get San Juan going in the third inning.
San Juan finished the game with 15 hits and had five batters finish the game with multiple hits.
They were led by Corbin Palmer and Randall Flavel, who each picked up three hits. Perkins, Davis Mendoza, and Kash Shumway are the other Broncos who finished with multiple hits.
Palmer got the start on the hill for San Juan and covered six innings, allowing just four hits and two runs while striking out 11. Mendoza had one strikeout in relief.
The nightcap against the Templars didn’t go quite as well for the Broncos, who struggled to generate runs.
The big difference in the game came on the defensive side of the ball. San Juan committed four errors that led to four unearned Manti runs.
San Juan never led in the game as Manti opened the game with a three-run first. The Broncos scored one run in the bottom of the opening inning to trail 3-1 after one inning of play.
Five runs by the Templars in the top of the third made it look as if they were starting to pull away.
But the Broncos tightened things up defensively and held Manti scoreless over the next two innings before surrendering one run to the Templars in the top of the sixth.
Down 9-1, San Juan finally got the offense rolling in the bottom of the sixth. They pushed four runs across the plate to cut the Manti lead to 9-5.
San Juan then blanked Manti in the top of the seventh to give themselves a chance to steal the win.
Ultimately, a win wasn’t in the cards for the Broncos though. They scored just one run in their final at bat, resulting in a 9-6 loss to the Templars.
Tanner Johnson and Elijah Lee joined Palmer, Mendoza, Perkins, and Flavel with two hits each for the Broncos.
Perkins also had a pair of RBIs to lead San Juan in that category, while Palmer and Mendoza each logged a triple.
Perkins started the game pitching for San Juan and went two and two thirds innings, striking out four, and giving up 10 hits. Mendoza once again handled relief duties, going four and a third, striking out four, and surrendering four hits.
Errors were once more a problem in the Broncos’ opening game last Friday, April 12 against North Sanpete.
Despite outplaying the Hawks in almost all areas of the game, San Juan ended up losing 8-2. All eight of North Sanpete’s runs were unearned.
The Hawks got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second when a Bronco error resulted in two runs for North Sanpete. The Broncos got one run back in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1.
After that, both defenses dug in, resulting in three innings of scoreless baseball before the wheels fell off for San Juan in the top of the seventh.
Once again, the Hawks benefitted from Bronco mistakes, this time to the tune of six runs. These essentially put the game out of reach, as San Juan was able to score only one.
A solo homerun by Isaiah Hannigan in the bottom of the seventh ended the game in an 8-2 loss for the Broncos.
Shaw Nielson led San Juan at the plate, finishing the game two for three with a pair of singles.
Shumway, Hannigan, and Flavel each had one hit in the game, and Mendoza and Hannigan each recorded an RBI.
Palmer started the game pitching for the Broncos and went five and two thirds innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out seven.
Perkins covered the final inning and a third where he allowed just one hit, walked one, and struck out five.
The Broncos will be back on the diamond on Wednesday, April 17 hosting the Piedra Vista Panthers at 3:30 p.m.
San Juan will then travel to Spanish Fork on Friday, April 19 to take on the American Leadership Academy Eagles. That game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
Then on Monday, April 22, the Broncos will be on the road again when they play Piedra Vista in Farmington, NM. That game has a 3:30 p.m. start time.
Track & Field
The San Juan track and field teams were back at it this past Saturday, April 13 in Price where they competed in the Carbon Invitational.
Ten boys teams and 12 girls teams competed in the meet with the Broncos finishing seventh in each division.
Individuals and relay teams scoring points for the girls team include a first place finish in the 100-meter hurdles by Shae Nielson. Rachel Barton was second and Sadie Jensen eighth in the same race.
Shae Nielson and Rachel Barton also placed first and second, respectively, in the 300 hurdles.
Individuals and relay teams scoring points for the boys team included a second place win in the Javelin by Kian Conway.
In the 400-meter, Jaxon Torgerson placed third and Lymir Benn placed eighth.
The 4x100 Relay team of Kian Conway, Seth Spackman, Lymir Benn, and Jaxon Torgerson placed third.
In the 200-meter, Kian Conway placed fourth and Jaxon Torgerson was eighth in the 100.
The San Juan High soccer team has been improving throughout their season.
In a recap of the last couple weeks, the Broncos lost a hard fought match with Grand on April 6. The final score of that match was 4-1.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first half, San Juan battled back, breaking even with the Red Devils despite only having 11 players which meant there were no substitutions for the Broncos the entire match.
Brandon Walker scored San Juan’s lone goal on a penalty kick
More recently, the Broncos traveled to Sevier County for a pair of games, first with Richfield on April 12, then with South Sevier on April 13. Both games ended in losses for San Juan.
One highlight of the match versus Richfield came when Landen Pemberton found Levi Ward with a nice pass.
Ward finished the play with a solid shot on goal that made its way past the Wildcat goalie for the score.
Against South Sevier, the Broncos again suffered the consequences of being low on players.
After playing the Rams closely in the first half, the Broncos seemed to run out of gas in the second, resulting in a win for South Sevier.
The Broncos will wrap up their season this weekend with a pair of games, at North Sanpete Friday, April 19 at 4 p.m. and their final match on Saturday, April 20 will be against Manti at 1 p.m.