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AN HISTORIC VICTORY AS WENDOVER WINS 1ST TITLE

SHARE AN HISTORIC VICTORY AS WENDOVER WINS 1ST TITLE

A five-run outburst in the second inning paced Wendover to its first-ever 1A state baseball championship Saturday at Southern Utah University. Lawson Sweat's bases-loaded triple highlighted the Wildcats' 9-6 victory over Intermountain Christian.

"It's the first state championship this city has ever won. It's a lot of fun," said Wendover coach Shayne Greenland. He and the team were met outside the city limits and escorted back to Wendover by a police and fire department escort and a line of 200 cars. "It's a huge party. Just like the big leagues."A dance was planned for midnight at the school.

Wendover, which knocked off three-time defending champion Enterprise in the semifinals Friday, led 6-0 in the second inning and 9-3 in the seventh.

"When you're leading you can kind of do the things you want," said Greenland. "We kept the pressure on them. We just went out and made plays."

ICS reduced the deficit to three runs in its final at-bat but could draw no closer - though the Winged Lions did make things interesting. With two outs and the bases-loaded, ICS ended the game and its comeback hopes with a ground out.

Pitcher Juan Rodriguez tossed a six-hitter for Wendover, which backed its starter with nine stolen bases and six hits.

Matt Snyder doubled for ICS, 10-4 victors over Wendover in the recent Region 14 title game. The Lions advanced to the state finals by knocking off Wayne in the semis - setting up the first 1A final between northern Utah teams. In 21 years of competition, St. Joseph (1980) and Wendover are the lone champions north of Gunnison.

"We were prepared," said Greenland. " We had a chance to win state and we didn't want it to get out of our hands. We just played ball."