by Tad Barton
The San Juan Bronco baseball team split a pair of region games with the Emery Spartans.
On the road in Castle Dale, UT on April 5, the Broncos picked up an 8-2 win over the Spartans.
Emery returned the favor when they visited San Juan in Blanding on April 8 when they scored five runs on five Bronco errors, which turned out to be the difference in an 8-3 win for the Spartans.
In game one at Emery, the Broncos jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. After a scoreless second, San Juan added four more runs in the top of the third to go up 5-0 on the home team.
The Spartans battled back in the bottom of the third, cutting the San Juan lead to three runs by scoring two runs, resulting in a 5-2 game after three innings of play.
The Broncos would add another run in the top of the fifth and two more in the top of the seventh, all while holding the Spartans scoreless over the final four innings to claim the 8-2 victory.
Mason Bethea notched the win for the Broncos, going the distance while surrendering two runs on four hits and striking out five batters.
Offensively, three Broncos went three for four at the plate, including Bayl’r Eldredge, Bronz Eldredge and Connor Palmer. Palmer also had a double, a homerun and four RBIs.
Kavika Su’eSu’e went two for four with a single a double and two RBIs. Bethea went one for three on the day with a single and a run scored.
Jaxon Lee rounded out the hitting for San Juan going one for four with a double and one RBI.
Friday’s game in Blanding started out just the opposite of Tuesday’s game in Castle Dale, with the Spartans racing out to an early 4-0 lead after the first inning.
A scoreless second inning followed by a three run top of the third for Emery gave the visiting team a 7-0 lead. The Broncos wouldn’t go away, though, as they pushed two runs across the dish in the bottom of the third to cut the Spartan lead to five runs, 7-2.
Both teams would score one more run each, with Emery’s coming in the top of the fourth and San Juan’s in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Spartans the win, 8-3, over the Broncos.
Bethea was tagged with the loss, as he gave up eight runs over four innings, only three of which were earned runs.
Zach Brown took the hill in relief for Bethea in the top of the fifth. Brown finished with four strikeouts, no hits and one walk.
Bayl’r Eldredge led the Broncos from the plate, going three for four with two singles, a double and one RBI. He was followed by Bronz Eldredge who went two for three with a single double and two RBIs. Palmer went one for three on the day, and Bethea had one single on four at bats.
San Juan’s next game is in Moab, UT on Thursday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m.
The Lady Broncos also played two games against the Emery Spartans last week, picking up a 15-14 win in extra innings at home on Tuesday, April 5 and a 12-7 victory over the Spartans in Castle Dale, UT on Friday, April 8.
The two wins push the Broncos Region 15 record to 2-0, just behind Grand who is 5-0 in region play.
Wind, wind and more wind welcomed the Spartans to Blanding last Tuesday. Those fans who braved the gusts were treated to a great game.
Seven lead changes over the first seven innings resulted in a 12-12 tie and pushed the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, with a runner starting on second as per tie breaking rules, Emery’s first batter swatted a homerun to give the Spartans a 14-12 lead.
Just as things started looking bleak for the Broncos, a couple of lineup errors cost Emery two outs.
Before any more damage could be done, San Juan recorded the third out of the inning.
In the bottom half of the eighth, San Juan didn’t take the easy road to victory, but kept on battling and were able to manufacture two runs to tie the score at 14-14.
Then, with the winning run on third, Sharla Yanito ripped a hard ground ball up the middle of the field resulting in a walk off single and a 15-14 San Juan win.
Both Jazmine Marks and Gracee Bowers split time in the circle for the Broncos with Bowers picking up the win. Both pitchers gave solid performances, helping San Juan to victory.
On Friday, April 8 the two teams faced off again, this time in Castle Dale, UT. The game wasn’t as close as the first, as the Broncos picked up the win by five, 12-7.
Emery was first to score in the game with three runners crossing the plate in the bottom of the first.
Neither team scored in the second inning, giving the Spartans a 3-0 lead heading into the third.
San Juan took control of the game, outscoring Emery 11-0 over the next three innings. The Broncos scored three runs in the top of the third and another two runs in the fourth before blowing the game wide open with a six run fifth inning.
After scoring one more run in the top of the sixth, the Broncos enjoyed a 12-4 lead. The Spartans weren’t finished, though, as they fought back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs trimming the San Juan lead to six runs 12-6.
Emery would add one more run in the bottom of the seventh, but it just wasn’t enough as the Broncos picked up the win, 12-7.
Mary Royer had a big day at the plate, going three for five, including two triples.
The Lady Broncos also traveled to Payson, UT to play in the Payson Tournament on Saturday, April 9. San Juan played in at least three games, dropping contests to Lehi, 12-3, and South Sevier, 6-5.
Yanito and Royer each recorded doubles in the loss to the Rams. The results of the Broncos game with Union were unknown as of press time.
San Juan next hosts the Grand Red Devils on Thursday, April 14. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
The San Juan Tennis team has been busy so far this season. The Broncos are now 3-0 with wins over Gunnison, South Sevier and Richfield.
Congratulations to the SJH Tennis team on their great start and good luck throughout the rest of the season.