by Josh McFadden
Winter has left and come back in Davis County and along the Wasatch Front. Its late return is making it challenging for local high school baseball teams to get on the field, but Davis, Bountiful, Viewmont and Woods Cross have all gotten in some games.
With more teams in Region 1, Davis starts region play much sooner than the Braves, Vikings and Woods Cross, all of whom play in Region 5. Still, all four teams play each region foe three teams, and the top four schools in each region will qualify for the state tournament.
Last season, the Darts ran roughshod over Region 2, going a perfect 18-0 and winning the league by four games. However, it was a different story once the state tournament began, where Davis went 0-2 and bowed out early.
Davis is in Class 6A’s Region 1 this season, where it will square off with Weber, Clearfield, Fremont, Northridge, Syracuse and Layton. Both Syracuse and Layton are familiar region opponents, but the Darts didn’t face the other four teams in league play a year ago.
The Darts won their first two games this season. The blanked Mountain Crest 5-0 on March 10 and defeated Bountiful 6-1 on March 13. In the shutout win over Mountain Crest, the Darts picked up six hits, led by Garrett Larson and Parker Jensen, who each had doubles. Zach Hoskins was terrific on the mound, helping limit the opposition to two hits.
In a matchup with crosstown rival Bountiful, the Darts once again played great defense. Cody Christensen picked up the win on the mound, while Stockton Hall and Larson registered doubles. Davis got up 5-0 in the third inning and held on to go 2-0 on the season.
Davis region play with a three-game series with Layton on Tuesday. The Darts also faced the Lancers on Wednesday and wrap up the series on Friday.
The Braves move up to Class 5A this season but stay in Region 5. Last season, the Braves shared the region championship with Box Elder by posting a 13-5 league record. Overall, Bountiful went 15-12 and dropped both of its games in the 4A state tournament.
The season’s squad is a young and balanced one. Bountiful has just seven seniors on its roster to along with a host of underclassmen. The Braves have nine juniors, nine sophomores and 10 freshmen, meaning there are plenty of players available to contribute.
Last season, Bountiful contended with six other teams in Region 5, but there are just five. This means it’ll be easier to qualify for the state tournament, where the Braves have played each of the last eight seasons. Bountiful won the state championship in 2014.
In its loss to Davis, Bountiful committed four errors and managed just three hits. Two of those hits came from Bridger Freestone and Peyton Hale.
Bountiful hosted Murray on Wednesday (after our press deadline) and returns to the diamond on Friday at Corner Canyon.
The Vikings narrowly lost their opener against Stansbury but bounced back in a big way March 16 with a 13-1 win over Class 6A’s Granger to move to 1-1 on the young season.
Viewmont piled up 11 hits but didn’t really get things going until later in the game. With the score tied at one in the fourth inning, Viewmont scored five runs in that inning followed by four in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Jackson Barber, Joshua Erickson, Lucas Bushey and Tyson Toller each hit doubles. Toller added a triple in the Vikings’ offensive display.
The Vikings will look to improve on last season’s 6-16 season when it competed in Region 2. The Vikings join Bountiful in Region 5 this season when they hope to return to the postseason after a year’s absence.
Next up for the Vikings is a game against Ridgeline on Friday. Viewmont played at Weber on Tuesday and at Skyline on Wednesday. Both games were after our press deadline.
Coming off a 12-6 record in Region 5 a year ago, the Woods Cross Wildcats will aim to stay near the top of league standings in 2018. The Wildcats have finished in the top three of region play each year since 2009.
Things got off to a rough start this season, but there’s still plenty of time left to play.
The Wildcats played a pair of games on March 10, falling to American Fork 10-0 and to Bingham 6-4. After playing at Mountain Crest on Monday (after our press deadline), Woods Cross hosts Ogden and Olympus on Saturday.
Woods Cross returns some key players from last year’s squad, including junior Calum Seifert, who hit three home runs and five doubles as a sophomore. Senior Andrew Kirchmeier also returns. He hit a home run, a triple and four doubles last season. On the mound, he pitched his way to a 3-1 record. Another pitcher, senior Chase Miller, will also see action this season after going 2-1 a year ago.