It was a swing and a miss for the Riverton High School baseball team at the state championships this year. The region champs lost the first two state tournament games (to Layton, 1-0 and Lone Peak, 21-4) after making it all the way to the third place spot in state last year.
“We obtained one of our goals -- to repeat as region champions,” said head coach Jay Applegate. “But the state tournament was kind of a disappointment. We left 18 runners on base. We just couldn’t get a timely hit. Baseball’s a funny game. One minute, you’re as high as a kite, the next minute, you’re as low as you can go.”
During the season, the boys got good at coming back from tough situations. “We had two or three games where we were down most of the game and then came back to win in the seventh inning,” Applegate said. One of those games was May 4 against rival Bingham when the Silverwolves walked away with a 5-1 win. They also had strong comebacks April 17 against Kearns (9-7) and against West Jordan April 21 (5-4) and 22 (4-3).
Applegate is losing a lot of good seniors this year but is returning three starting juniors who should be team leaders next year: Roger Weber, Dylan Draper, Zach Harris and Tanner Banks. “We have a good nucleus coming back,” he said.
Although the state tournament didn’t turn out the way the boys planned, Applegate is hoping they look back on the year with a positive attitude. “It’s pretty tough to do right now but a year from now, or later on, I hope they look back and know they accomplished something no one else did [winning region twice],” he said.