Cottonwood baseball goes on late-season tear, comes up short in playoffsJun 23, 2021 03:07PM ● By Brian Shaw
Lefty CJ Slagowski goes hard against the Skyline lineup in a game the Colts would emerge victorious 4-3. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
Going into the 5A state baseball playoffs, the defending 5A state champion Cottonwood Colts have been rolling.
The hitting that struggled like a filly for most of the first half of the season has caught up with the pitching and now, the team that many thought Cottonwood would be is gelling into a formidable force.
Heading into the playoffs, the Colts hadn’t lost since April 23 when they played a non-league game against 4A power Stansbury and took that six-game winning streak into the state tournament.
But what’s most impressive about this streak that Cottonwood is on is that the Colts haven’t lost a region game since April 6 when they fell 2-0 to Olympus, the eventual region champion.
At 17-6 overall and finishing the season 12-2 in league play, the Colts entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed.
That seeding affords Cottonwood several luxuries. One is the Colts don’t have to play in the first round, giving them even more time to rest and heal up the nicks and injuries they might have.
Second, because Cottonwood is also one of the top eight teams in the entire 5A state classification according to the final Utah High School Activities Association RPI standings, it also gets to avoid playing in a second-round state playoff game as well.
For the defending state champs who have had some trouble staying healthy, this is a positive, however, the long layoff of not having played a game for eight days by the time the state tournament begins for Cottonwood on May 20, may have its drawbacks.
That said, this is a veteran Cottonwood team that will begin this state tournament at home and has capable arms up and down the roster—one that has five pitchers who have had two or more wins, which includes senior ace Riley Prescott who sports a 4-1 record going into the state playoffs.
Like other Colts teams of the past, this one manufactures runs in a big way. Of the four total home runs Cottonwood has hit this year, senior catcher and outfielder Hunter Neumayer leads Cottonwood with three of them and has also smacked 28 RBI—both are tops on the team. Meanwhile, fellow senior Isaac Morris—who is also Cottonwood’s co-ace on the mound with a 4-1 record—has batted in 18 runs and five other Colts have 10 or more RBI.
To give you an idea on how dominant the Colts have been since that loss on April 23, they two-hit Murray, allowed four hits to Skyline and shut out Hillcrest 14-0 in five innings.
Editor’s note: after press deadline, the Colts fell to Orem in the playoffs ending the season with a 17-8 record.