On May 8, the Red Devils played a close contest against the Manti Templars at Salt Lake City’s Kearns High School field. The game was postponed for more than six hours due to rainy weather conditions and proved to be a tough contest for Grand.
The Red Devils came from behind twice during the seven innings of play to take the win against the Templars.
“Our defense was suspect at times,” said GCHS assistant coach Ron Dolphin. “We had too many passed balls.”
The Templars took their second lead during the top half of the sixth inning. During the bottom of the sixth, as the designated home team, the Red Devils came back with a double-base hit by GCHS senior Koi Cook, giving Grand a 7-6 lead going into the seventh inning.
At the top of the seventh, GCHS sophomore Braden Ward secured the win for the Red Devils by catching a line drive and completing a double-play against Manti. The play kept Grand in the lead by one point to claim victory.
Cook pitched three innings for the Red Devils and Dalton McElhaney pitched four innings during the game.
The win against Manti put the Red Devils into the semi-final round of the tournament against the Beaver High School Beavers. The game, which was scheduled to be played on Friday, was cancelled, again due to heavy rains, and was subsequently played on Saturday, May 10.
The game against Beaver featured several costly errors by both teams, as well as questionable calls by the referees, according to Dolphin. But the Red Devils remained resilient during the contest and did not let the game’s conditions faze them, Dolphin said.
Beaver took the lead late in the contest. In the fifth inning, GCHS junior Ronnie Dolphin hit a double-base hit that turned the tide for the Red Devils’ offense. Ward then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Dolphin to third base, where he scored on a failed pick-off by the Beavers. The run gave Grand a 2-1 lead over Beaver.
After Grand’s batters put other runners on base, senior Cameron Taylor scored a powerhouse three-run home run that widened the Red Devils’ lead to 5-1.
The Red Devils made some costly errors in the last two innings, but Grand’s defense was able to regain control, capping the Beavers’ gains at two runs. The Red Devils ultimately claimed a 5-3 victory in the contest as the game ended with a double-play by Grand that was reminiscient of the Red Devils’ sixth-inning play against Manti.
GCHS junior Kyler Nelson pitched all seven innings in Saturday’s contest.
“We’re in a very good spot to play for the [2A] state title after last week’s games,” Dolphin said on May 12. “During the season, our ups and downs have really made us ready to play.”
The win in the semi-finals advanced the Red Devils to the state championship game in the double-elimination tournament. That game, which was originally scheduled for May 10, was rescheduled for Tuesday, May 13 at 1 p.m. due to the rain delays last weekend.