New region, same old result for Cottonwood baseball as it lifts another region crownMay 30, 2022 05:48PM ● By Brian Shaw
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
Sometimes, time takes time.
Ringo Starr wrote that song back in 1992. If you don’t know who that person is, you are probably younger than the age of 25.
Speaking of kids under 25, the Cottonwood baseball team is in a new region, one that requires a lot of traveling. There’s a three-hour bus trip to get to one school and several one-hour bus rides for every other school except crosstown rival Hillcrest.
So the Colts did not get off to a hot start in their new region, losing two of their first three games.
Down the stretch however, the Colts got back on that saddle and won eight straight league games to claim the Region 7 title, its first in the new alignment and the first as well since that magical state title run of 2019.
Cottonwood (17-7, 8-3 Region 7) finished one game ahead of Uintah in the Region 7 standings.
In that eight game unbeaten run to claim their region title, the Colts scored at least seven runs and absolutely walloped their crosstown rival Hillcrest 27-12 in a game that was called after five innings.
That impressive run by the Colts earned them the No. 5 seed at the upcoming 5A state tournament which will begin after press time.
It took a bit of time for this Cottonwood team to find the right horseshoes, but once the Colts did it was a nice, steady trot for the 2019 state champions who trampled their region opponents as they neared the finish line in 2022.
They were so dominant after a stinging 3-1 loss at home to Stansbury April 26 that the closest margin of victory for any of their Region 7 opponents after that game was five runs.
Several players came up big for Cottonwood including Keaton Stinson, the heavy-hitting sophomore who picked up right where he left off last month, not only matching but surpassing the three home runs he hit last month with a whopping four dingers in the final two weeks of the regular season.
That gives Stinson a total of seven homers on the season going into the state tourney, the best home run total on the team. Junior Cameron Neilson finished the regular season as the top RBI getter with 29 for Cottonwood, and contributed three home runs including two in one game in that 27-12 romp at Hillcrest.
Also, the run production that Cottonwood baseball has been known for over the years was still there as well. The Colts hit 54 doubles this year, led by Neilson’s eight. Stinson and senior Tavish Snow also had seven. Snow is only one of five seniors on this Cottonwood team. Another senior Parker Burk led Cottonwood with two triples along with Neilson, who stuffed every stat sheet in existence for the Colts.
Sophomore Hayden Hudman led Cottonwood with a 5-1 record on the mound, taking his only L against Stansbury on April 26. Aside from that one tough outing in which Stansbury beat the Colts at their own game in a narrow 3-1 defeat Hudman wasn’t just letter perfect; in the other three region contests he only allowed a grand total of 12 hits.
Domenic Versluis, who is also one of Cottonwood’s few seniors on the team, also stepped up when it counted, recording a perfect 4-0 record as a Colts pitcher.
Cottonwood baseball will begin its quest for another state championship at the 5A Super Regionals May 19 and 20.