Beaver High School won five consecutive games over two days, including a triple header on Saturday to win the 2A championship.
Beaver began the tournament in trouble, dropping their first game to Janzen Keisel and Gunnison. After the loss, they pulled together and won three games in the one-loss bracket to match themselves up with Parowan, and the Beavers were able to keep the momentum moving forward by defeating the Rams 12-7 and 12-9 to close out a storybook season.
“It has been a grind. We went through some ups and downs and came out of some big slumps to get here. I think our pitching and the depth of our team and playing our heart out all year to get to this point,” Cobe Carter said.
“It drains you; it is really hard but we have had a good rotation all year and I knew all of these boys could do it.” — Beaver coach Daniel Carter
Game 1 was a pitcher’s duel for the first four innings until Beaver was able to break through and score double-digit runs in the top of the fifth to gain control of the game. Parowan would fight back, getting six runs mostly from homers by Beau Millett and Shaydon Benson. It wasn’t enough, however, as a winner-take-all game was put on deck.
As each team entered the final game, they had to dig deep into their pitching rotations to find victory. The two starting pitchers combined for fewer than three innings pitched all season prior to the championship game, but both showed up in key moments to set the tone for an emotional and long game.
“It drains you; it is really hard but we have had a good rotation all year and I knew all of these boys could do it,” said Beaver coach Daniel Carter.
The teams battled through three ties and four lead changes in the first five innings, but after the Beavers were able to get a couple of stops in a row, the pressure shifted to Parowan. With the lead down to just a run, the Rams seemed to have gained momentum and had the tying run at third base. A wild pitch sent catcher Bryton Langston scrambling, but he was able to gain control and get the ball back to the plate for an inning ending out to preserve their lead.
“I hustle every play; I give everything every play. We had a freshman on the mound and he knew where to be and we were able to get that out,” said Langston. That play may have saved the game for the Beavers who used seven different pitchers over the final two days to win the title.
Langston truly gave everything he had as he took a shot during the Friday morning game that left a deep gash in his knee that required medical attention. After receiving stitches, the decision to play was up to him. He returned for the night game and proceeded to catch all 26 innings over the next 24 hours, playing a vital role in bringing home the championship.
“Our coaches have been preaching that it takes every single one of us to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish. I just felt like I needed to be a part of that, helping Beaver to their first ever state championship,” Langston said.
Beaver would add another couple of runs in the top half of the final inning thanks to a Derek Robinson inside the park home run on a fly ball that got over the center fielder’s head.
“Since the game went back and forth, we were just trying to get the biggest cushion we could. I let one come right down the middle and wanted that one back. Sure enough it came and I took advantage of it and ran my guts out. I have never been more exhausted in my life,” Robinson said.
“You know this team has so much grit, so much heart. Keisel is hard to beat and we had to come through the loser’s bracket, but these boys have fight, so much fight,” commented Carter.
Over the course of 33 innings in just under 36 hours, every single player has to step up and make a play at one point or another, and numerous guys succeed in their moment to come through.
When asked who stepped up over the state tournament, Carter couldn’t narrow it down. “I hate to mention names because all these boys gave us a great part, everyone of them had a part in us reaching our ultimate goal.”