by Tad Barton
After a loss to Manti last week in the second round of the 3A State Baseball Tournament, the San Juan Broncos found themselves facing a familiar opponent on Thursday, May 9 when they met up with the South Sevier Rams.
Earlier in the season the Broncos and Rams split a pair of games in region play with South Sevier winning the first game 18-11 and San Juan the second 4-1.
The third match-up between these two teams spelled the end of the season for the loser with the winner moving on to the next round of the tournament.
The Rams opened up the contest taking an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But that lead was quickly stolen by the Broncos, who posted five runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 5-2.
South Sevier pulled within one run, 5-4, in the top of the second after picking up a pair of runs. They then held San Juan scoreless in the bottom of the second.
Neither team was able to push any runners across the plate in the third inning, but the Rams managed to retake the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs to lead 6-5.
The Broncos tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a single run when Tanner Johnson led off with a double.
Two batters later Landon Black, who entered as a pinch runner for Johnson, scored on a Maddax Lee single, making the score 6-6.
The San Juan defense then went to work in the top of the sixth, blanking South Sevier to keep the game tied. The Broncos offense did their job in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs.
The first of the four runs came off a Davis Mendoza sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Elijah Lee. Two batters later, Johnson, facing a full count with two outs and two runners on, smashed a homerun to left field to give San Juan a 10-6 lead.
Once more the Bronco defense was up to the task as they held the Rams scoreless to seal the win.
Johnson led the Broncos at the plate, going four for four with two singles, a double, a homerun and five RBIs. Corbin Palmer, Maddax Lee, Isaiah Hannigan, Randall Flavel, and Mendoza each finished the game with one hit. Trez Perkins, Easton Bethea, Elijah Lee, Maddax Lee, Palmer, Mendoza, Hannigan, and Flavel finished with one RBI apiece.
Perkins started the game on the pitcher’s mound for San Juan and went four innings, racking up four strikeouts, and surrendering seven hits.
Palmer handled relief duties, striking out six, walking two, and giving up two hits in three innings of work for the Broncos.
The win over South Sevier kept San Juan alive in the one-loss bracket where they then faced the Juab Wasps. The Wasps came out of the gate on fire, scoring six runs in the top of the first.
The Broncos cut that lead in half in the bottom of the inning after posting three runs to trail 6-3.
Two scoreless innings for both teams followed with Juab breaking the scoreless streak in the top of the fourth. A lone run gave them a four-run lead, 7-3.
San Juan’s offensive woes continued as they failed to score for the third straight inning.
The Wasps pushed their lead to five runs in the top of the fifth as they begin to pull away. Then, in the top of the seventh with the Broncos trailing 8-3, Juab put the game on ice with a seven run outburst. They held San Juan scoreless one final time, ending the Broncos season 15-3.
Hits were few and far between for San Juan throughout the game. Only Flavel and Maddax Lee had multiple hits, both going two for three at the plate.
Perkins, Mendoza, Elijah Lee, and Isaiah Hannigan finished with one hit each.
Flavel was the only Bronco to find the RBI column in the score book as he batted in all three of San Juan’s runs.
Four different pitchers worked the mound for the Broncos. Palmer got the start but lasted just a third of an inning, giving up six runs off two hits and two walks.
It is worth noting that only two of the six runs were earned as the Bronco defense was bitten by the error bug.
Mendoza did the bulk of the work on the hill, going four and a third innings, striking out two, walking one, and giving up four hits.
Johnson, Perkins, and Kash Shumway were the others who made pitching appearances for San Juan. The trio combined for one strikeout (Perkins) and three walks and gave up four hits.
In a side story, both Palmer and Perkins finished the season among the state’s top pitchers in strikeouts.
Palmer tallied 84 which was second best across all classifications and number one in 3A. Perkins wasn’t far behind as he finished with 73, fifth overall and third in 3A.
Region Track & Field
The San Juan track and field teams spent Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8 competing at the Region 15 Championships in Manti, UT. The girls team finished fourth overall while the boys placed seventh. Combined, the Broncos placed sixth out of nine teams.
Girls individual and relay teams earning points included a first place finish in the discus by Katie Giddings. She also placed third in shot put.
The relay team of Shae Nielson, Tasiah Little, Rachel Barton, and Delaney Palmer finished second in both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.
Shae Nielson won the 300-meter hurdles with Rachel Barton coming in in fourth. In the 100 hurdles, Shae Nielson placed second and Rachel Barton fourth.
Aysia Pehrson, Maycee Conway, Tasiah Little, and Lydia Pugh placed fifth in the sprint medley.
Delaney Palmer placed fifth in the 400-meter and sixth in the 200. Sadie Jensen placed sixth in long jump.
Boys individual and relay teams earning points included a second place finish in the 200-meter by Kian Conway. Jaxon Torgerson placed fifth in the 100-meter.
The Sprint Medley team of Cooper Black, Seth Spackman, Jaxon Torgerson, and Lymir Benn placed fifth. Kian Conway took fifth place in the javelin, and Hyatt Todachinnie placed eighth in discus.
The Broncos will compete in the Utah 3A State Championships May 16-17 at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.