OREM — Two hours and 56 minutes usually constitutes far more than enough time for a high school baseball game to play out.
Instead, that’s how long Syracuse and Lone Peak waited through rainstorms and field maintenance during their 6A baseball one-loss bracket state tournament game Friday at Utah Valley University.
There are only so many ways one can spin its wheels in the dugout when the rain isn’t stopping. It also can drain a team’s gas tank, whether the players and coaches want to admit it or not.
Syracuse made its deepest run in the baseball state tournament in school history this week, but the run won’t continue after falling 8-3 to Lone Peak.
“We left people on base. Two-out hits, we didn’t get,” head coach Trevor Thomas said. “Right there, if we get a couple dink hits or anything, momentum can change a little bit. We just didn’t get the hits when we needed them.”
The raw numbers were three runs on eight hits, 12 runners left on base and eight pitchers used for the Titans.
Just like the rain, Lone Peak’s offense was strong and steady. The Knights already had a 2-0 lead they built Thursday when the game originally started, only for it to be postponed to Friday.
They added two more runs in the second inning — after a 53-minute rain delay — with a two-run homer from Trey Gambill. Then came a 2 hour, 3 minute rain delay during which the grounds crew tarped the field.
“I think it’s going to affect every kid a little bit, our pitcher gets hot three times ... that’s no excuse, but it does a little bit,” Thomas said.
LP scored two more in the third inning after the rain delay, thanks to an RBI single and a bunt. The Knights added two more in the fifth on RBI singles.
Syracuse (16-13) had baserunners in between LP’s runs but couldn’t get them home.
All the Titans could muster were two runs in the first — when Hunter Wilder beat the throw to first base with two outs, then Dougrey Humphrey drew a bases-loaded walk — and a Mark Amparan solo homer in the sixth.
Thomas was ejected in the top of the sixth after successive contentious calls by the first-base official. For the fourth-seeded Titans to be playing this late in the season is noteworthy on its own.
They hadn’t been this deep in the postseason in school history and were within striking distance of a strong Pleasant Grove team in their Thursday winner’s bracket game the entire time.
“I couldn’t be more proud for the kids and the seniors sticking in. Not every senior got to play, but they stuck around, believed in what we were doing. I can’t say enough about our assistant coaches. Man, they’re awesome,” Thomas said.