It was a cold day in Kamas, but the South Summit baseball team was red hot in its 15-3 rivalry win against North Summit Tuesday afternoon.
"We wanted to stress talking with our bats and talking with our gloves out here today," said Dave Carter, South Summit's head coach.
Although the Wildcats ended the day with a statement region win, Carter said the team, which entered the matchup with an 0-4 record, didn't know what to expect against rival North Summit.
"We got a lot of good momentum (going our way) and the kids had fun and played hard," Carter said.
North Summit started strong with an early run by sophomore Eric Wayment, but left the bases loaded in the first inning. The Wildcats responded with their first run off a triple by Bracken Santos, followed by solid hitting by Hunter Reis, Daxton Hansen and Andy Mitchell. At the end of the first, the Wildcats led 6-1 and never looked back.
"Overall it was a good effort," Carter said. "Our first five are such solid hitters. I think when they get hot we can probably beat a lot of teams."
After a quick three outs by the Braves in the top of the second, South Summit took command of the plate with a double from Rylee Allen, followed by a triple from Mitchell, that widened the gap to 9-1. Throughout the game, the Wildcats were aggressive running the bases, aided by seven North Summit errors that translated into nine runs.
"We had kids hitting (well) throughout the lineup," Carter said. "They didn't really have a catcher that could stop us from running (either). We're looking forward to building off of this win. The kids have a lot of confidence and we're excited.
By the top of the fourth, North Summit was in dire straights, down 14-1. Although several Braves hit well, as a whole the team never managed to string a series of hits together. In the top of the fifth inning, the Braves attempted a comeback with the bases loaded and two outs, but it was too little too late. For a young North Summit team, the matchup highlighted several areas that head coach Brent Scholes is hoping to improve upon as region play begins.
"Pitching was a struggle," Scholes said. "We've got to get back to the fundamentals of baseball. We've got to relax and play the game."
Scholes also believed that rivalry nerves played a large part in the loss, especially when the runs began to mount up.
"It's always a mental thing against South Summit," he said. "They're the rivals. You want to play well. You come in a little tense and they started to hit the ball. We let down a little bit and created errors because we tried to rush and push things."
At 1-4, North Summit had a chance to avenge the loss on at home Friday (after this issue went to press) in another rivalry matchup against the Wildcats.