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5A baseball: Cottonwood completes golden run with rout of Lone Peak

Published May 26, 2017 7:40 pm

5A baseball • Colts crush Lone Peak for first state state title since 2008.
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Orem • Nestled in Cottonwood baseball coach Jason Crawford's collection of motivational stories was one he had saved for an occasion like this.

Anticipating a low-scoring, pitchers duel between his Colts and Lone Peak, Crawford hearkened to a time — almost 10 years ago — when Cottonwood was at the top of the Utah prep baseball world.

The Colts have returned there.

The duel never materialized as Cottonwood chased Knights ace Seth Corry in the third inning and coasted to an 11-0 victory in the Class 5A state championship game.

"I told them the story of 2005, when everything started. I pulled out our state championship ring from '05, I gave them a story that's personal to our program," Crawford said. "They responded to it extremely well. They came out ready to answer the bell today."

The Colts won four straight state titles from 2005 to 2008 under coach Jon Hoover. The title earned Friday at Utah Valley University was the first for Crawford as Cottonwood's coach.

"I'm too happy to even cry right now," said Cottonwood's Jeff Borquez, who nevertheless had to hold back tears. "This is the end. I know I'll never be in this uniform again. The people in front of us when I was a sophomore, a junior — they showed us the way.

"My brothers, I believe in every single one of them."

The contest lasted only through the top of the fifth because of the 10-run rule, and Colts pitching standout Hayden Rosenkrantz stretched his scoreless streak to 12 innings.

Rosenkrantz gave up a run in the first to American Fork then tossed zeros the rest of the way in an extra-inning playoff win Monday.

"It was so much fun to just come out and compete today. From the first pitch, we competed," Rosenkrantz said. "You couldn't ask for anything better. We were able to put up some hits and capitalize on their mistakes and come out on top."

The game's initial run scored when Corry, trying to pick off Rosenkrantz in the opening inning, threw past first into foul territory. Hunter Blunt, who singled to start the frame and was at third, came in to score.

The Colts got two more in the second when Caleb Manuel and Blunt both doubled before Cottonwood (22-8) blew open the game in the third. Daniel Gonzalez, who moved to Utah from Cuba, opened the floodgates with a triple to deep left that scored two more runs. Gonzalez scored on the same play on a throwing error as Lone Peak tried to get him at third.

"The pitcher gave me a good pitch, and luckily I was able to get the bat down and put a good swing on it," Gonzalez said through a translator. "This has been [my] dream, ever since [I] got to the United States seven months ago, [I] dreamed of playing for a state championship."

Lone Peak (24-7) got into the title game by outlasting Bingham 18-13 in an elimination contest Wednesday.

The Knights, who also were second last year, were seeking their first state championship since 2010.

"Baseball's about who gets hot, momentum and everything. Cottonwood, they came ready to play today," Lone Peak coach Matthew Bezzant said. "Now we've got to find a way to get over the hump and win the gold trophy." —

Cottonwood 11, Lone Peak 0

R Cottonwood scores in every inning, including six in the third, to end the championship game in the fifth thanks to the 10-run rule.

• Colts ace Hayden Rosenkrantz extends his shutout innings streak to 12.

• It is Cottonwood's first state title since winning four in a row from 2005 to 2008. Lone Peak's second-place finish is the second in a row for the Knights.






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