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South Salt Lake Journal

Cottonwood baseball lifts the Region 7 trophy, but falls at 5A Super Regional

Jul 07, 2023 10:52AM ● By Brian Shaw

The Colts celebrate a three-run homer by Keaton Stinson. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Marcus Garvey once said, “Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself.” 

For the Cottonwood High baseball team, that’s what they did in 2023. 

With a number of guys headed for college teams at the end of what would be their senior seasons, the Colts set out to accomplish a few goals, according to Cottonwood Athletic Director Greg Southwick. 

“We wanted to win region, and we did that,” said Southwick in an interview with City Journals before the state tournament. The Colts wrapped up Region 7 play, their last season in Class 5A, with a 10-2 record and No. 13 seed. 

The second goal was to advance further than they had at state, last year. With an opportunity in front of them to host the 5A first round, the Colts stumbled out of the blocks, upending No. 20 Alta but needing three games to do so, 1-6, 13-2 and 6-5. 

In the first game, the Colts got back University of Utah-bound Cameron Nielsen who returned from an injury that kept him out for most of the season. 

The senior hit a double for Cottonwood, who just couldn’t get their bats going in the first game loss to Alta. 

In the second game, however, Nielsen smashed a grand slam home run, and senior Payton Burk and junior Keaton Stinson each added nukes as well to knot the 5A first round series at one game apiece. 

Needing just one more win to advance, the Colts had to travel to Alta to get it—but they got it thanks in large part to a four-run first inning that included a mainstay of all of the past great Cottonwood teams: manufactured run production. 

The Colts trotted out a lineup that was similar to the first two games; it’s just that the runs came from other guys, like junior John Pipe, who led the way with three RBI including a two-run double in that big first inning. After that the Colts held on to the lead thanks to good defense and only one error. 

The narrow three-game victory put the Colts into a similar situation as Alta in the previous round; Cottonwood would need to win one of the two games at No. 4 ranked Lehi in the 5A Super Regional to force a third game back at home. 

Unfortunately for the Colts, their bats fell silent and they were swept out of the tournament, 12-2 and 10-0, May 19. 

For Cottonwood, it was still a good year, said Southwick. SLCC-bound senior Avery Doezie hit .477 and led the way for the Colts with eight home runs and 33 RBI. 

Senior Jaxon Pfeil, who is also bound for SLCC on a baseball scholarship with Doezie, had 10 doubles for Cottonwood. 

The Colts will say goodbye to not only 11 seniors but head coach Chris Shelton, who for 13 years has been with the program. 

“He wanted to spend more time with his new wife,” Southwick said. “So we’ll look for a new coach and wish him well.” λ