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Hansen's 4-hitter gives Piute 1A baseball title

Piute pitcher Mike Hansen could still fill the lingering effects of a sprained wrist. His elbow was tight and his shoulder was sore. But Saturday afternoon at Utah Valley State College, when Piute took on Panguitch for the 1A state baseball championship, Hansen had just one thing to say to his coach: "Give me the ball."

Even though Hansen had just pitched seven innings on Friday, Piute coach Kennedy Sylvester handed Hansen the ball and he responded by pitching Piute to a 10-2 win."I was sore, but I just had to gut it up. This is something I've been working for since I was 8 years old," Hansen said.

Panguitch got to Hansen for a run in the second on an RBI single by Chad Ostrom, but Piute came back with two runs in the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by Ken Coates. Clay James then squeezed Coates in from third with a bunt.

The Bobcats tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the fourth, and after the Thunderbirds regained the lead with a run in the fourth, Piute dodged a bullet that changed the game.

Panguitch's Jason Barney led off the sixth inning with a triple. But Hansen worked out of the jam by getting a popup and two ground balls, leaving Barney at third and turning the momentum in Piute's favor for good.

The T-Birds broke the game open with a 7-run sixth inning. The big blow was Coates' 3-run triple.

"I think he's (Hansen) the best pitcher in 1A, but I thought we'd hit him a little better than we did since he just pitched yesterday," said Panguitch coach Scott Hunt.

Hansen retired the side in order in the seventh to ignite the Piute celebration. He gave up just four hits and struck out four while completing the season with a 10-0 record.

As a team, Piute completed its championship season with an overall record of 16-3.

Kreitzer went 3-for-4 and Coates was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.

Panguitch finished the season at 12-3.