Monticello baseball season ends with loss to state runners-up

by Rhett Sifford
Sports Editor
After a win over Millard in the 2A Utah State Baseball Tournament one-loss first round the Monticello Buckaroos knew they had their hands full with a tough matchup at South Sevier on Tuesday, May 7.
The Rams were the sixth-seeded team entering the tournament and though nobody knew what would happen at the time, they won five games in a row in the one-loss bracket to play back into the state championship game, losing only to #1 Kanab.
That winning streak included the May 7 contest with Monticello of course, a 22-2 final that ended the Buckaroos’ season prematurely in the one-loss second round.
South Sevier plated ten runs in the top of the first inning to establish a mountainous lead that Monticello couldn’t overcome. The game ended via mercy rule after five innings of play.
The Buckaroos did muster two runs in the loss, and it was a duo of freshmen, Triston Felix and Cache Young, collecting one RBI apiece.
Both players were 1-for-2 at the plate, accounting for both of Monticello’s hits in the game. Felix ended his first varsity baseball season on a high note with the first home run of his career.
The Buckaroos closed the season with a 5-14 record. The five wins is four more than they earned last season and the 2024 team was exceptionally young, so that definitely bodes well for the future.
Individually, sophomore Jackson Keyes led the offensive attack this season. He was a very impressive 20-for-48 at the plate for a .417 batting average. He hit three home runs, five doubles, and drove in nine runs.
Triston Felix was next in line with a .393 average. He was 22-for-56 with the one homer and five doubles. He led the team with 19 RBIs.
Felix was also the team’s best pitcher this season by far. His two wins and three losses is a deceptive statistic. His 5.22 earned run average led the team easily. When he was on the mound Felix was consistently hard to beat, and that’s saying something for a freshman.
He faced the second-most batters in Utah this season, 286, and struck out an astounding 108 of them, also second-most in the state. He allowed just 43 earned runs in 57.2 innings of work.
Cache Young batted .333 for Monticello with a triple, six doubles, and 18 RBIs. He was 18-for-54 on the season. Jaeden Camacho was 15-for-54 for a .278 average with a triple, six doubles, and five RBIs.
Camren Carpenter was 9-for-33 on the year for a .273 average with two doubles and seven RBIs. Arturo Gutierrez was 13-for-54 for a .241 average with four doubles and six runs batted in.
Gutierrez also handled the catching duties very capably in his freshman season for the Buckaroos, accounting for almost half of the team’s putouts this season. He led the team with a .994 fielding percentage.
Mason Atwood batted .240 for the Bucks. He was 12-for-50 with two doubles and five RBIs. And Kooper Nielson was 12-for-52 for a .231 average. He hit two doubles and was third on the team with 11 RBIs.
Monticello stole 25 bases this season. Cache Young led the way with seven, Gutierrez swiped six, Nielson five, and Camacho four. Zac Adair and Triston Felix both stole one apiece.

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