Washington Sentinels fall to Lone Peak in American Legion baseball state finals

Washington Sentinels celebrate in dugout after defeating Springville 5-4 to advance to American Legion state title game, Kearns, Utah, July 31, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Shane Johanson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Washington Sentinels made it to Wednesday night’s championship game of the American Legion state baseball tournament, only to fall to Lone Peak, 11-3.

This marks the second year the Sentinels have taken second place in state since winning the title in 2017.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon at Kearns High School, the Sentinels had come from behind to defeat Springville 5-4, the score being an exact reversal of Springville’s 5-4 win over Washington on Monday.

The Sentinels avenged that loss Wednesday, despite falling behind 4-0 after three innings. Washington managed to get a pair of runs in the fifth but entered the seventh and final inning still trailing 4-2.

The Sentinels then scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Noah Ficklin and Brandon Roundy each hit a single at the start of the inning, after which Tristan Bird laid down a successful bunt single to load the bases.

Daniel Elder then got hit by a pitch, scoring Ficklin and making the score 4-3. Coby Longman then struck out, after which Brock Roundy belted the game-winning single up the middle, off the glove of the shortstop, scoring both Brandon Roundy and Bird.

Washington Sentinels warm up before a game at the American Legion state baseball tournament, Kearns, Utah, July 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Kristine Hirschi, St. George News

Starter Luke Bennett, who pitched all seven innings for Washington, picked up the win. He gave up six hits while striking out six and walking two.

The game marked Springville’s second loss, eliminating them from the tournament. The Red Devils had fallen to Lone Peak 2-0 in the semifinals Tuesday evening.

In Wednesday night’s championship game, Lone Peak started off strong against Washington.

“Lone Peak was ready from the get-go and hit the crud out of the ball in the first inning to jump to a 6-0 lead,” said Sentinels head coach Shane Johanson. “We had three errors in that inning as well, and after each one the next hitter would pound the ball. So a nervous start for us led to all those unearned runs. From there, it was a different game, and even though we hit pretty well, they had confidence and we couldn’t catch up.”

Washington’s three runs came one at a time: in the first, third and seventh innings. Washington tallied eight total hits to Lone Peak’s 11, but the Sentinels left nine runners stranded during the contest.

Still, Johanson said he was proud of his team’s second-place finish at state.

“We had some amazing performances over the course of the season, and the team really came together at the end to reach the championship game at state,” he said. “Early in the season, I was concerned how strong we would be as we struggled to hit the ball and play defense. But the boys worked extremely hard, and with an excellent hitting coach in Coach Maclellan, I really saw us grow and reach a high level of play.”

Johanson said all of their games in the state tournament – “except the last one” – were close and that it showed the determination and grit of the team. He called the season a success.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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