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Sandy Journal

Hawks’ baseball season ends in state tournament super regionals

Jun 04, 2024 03:00PM ● By Josh McFadden

Tyson Kelly wrapped up his Alta career with a season where he was a team leader in stolen bases and runs scored. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

Most high school teams will end the season with a loss, but that doesn’t make an early playoff exit any easier. 

The Alta baseball team had a solid campaign, placing third in Region 6 with a 14-7 record. Overall, Alta was 17-13 in a season that featured some highs and lows. It was a streaky season too. 

The Hawks opened the year with four losses against tough opponents, all by three or fewer runs. Then, they went on a nine-game winning streak, sweeping three-game series with region foes Jordan, West and Highland. A 2-4 stretch followed, leaving Alta with an 11-8 mark on April 19. Alta went 3-1 to end the regular season, as the Hawks secured the No. 12 seed in the Class 5A state tournament. 

Alta prolonged its season with a victory in the regionals May 11 and 13. 

Hosting No. 21 seed West Jordan, Alta prevailed in the best-of-three series with a pair of close wins. First, the Hawks won 3-2 in a game that saw them outhit West Jordan 11-3. Logan Moeller and Nolan Lohness each hit doubles, with Moeller adding an RBI. Jose Pereira and McCoy Johnson had RBIs as well. Pitcher Levi Stevensen had five strikeouts and got the victory on the mound. 

With a trip to the super regional on the line, Alta prevailed in game two of the series on May 13, winning 4-3. Alta was trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh when it scored the game-tying and game-winning runs. Pereira and Crew Scheel had doubles, while Colton Hall drove in two runs. Pereira and Moeller also had RBIs. 

The series started off well for Alta.

Facing No. 5 seed Orem on the road, Alta took game one in exciting fashion, winning 11-10 in a high-scoring contest. Six of Alta’s runs came in the final two innings, including four in the decisive seventh inning. The Hawks also got five runs in the third inning. Alta was down 9-5 before making its late comeback. Moeller and Johnson had big days, each hitting a double and driving in three runs. Hall also had a double, and he added an RBI as well. Lohness and Pereira had RBIs too. 

But Alta couldn’t pull off another upset. 

Games two and three belonged to Orem. Alta lost game two on May 17 by the count of 13-3. Alta scored three runs in the third inning to go up 3-0, but Orem countered with six runs in the inning and seven more in the next two combined. Hall had a home run and three RBI. 

The all-important game three would send the winner to the bracket round and the loser to a season-ending defeat. Alta wound up on the wrong end. The Hawks once again got an early lead, this time scoring three runs in the first inning to go up 3-0. From there, however, it was all Orem, though both teams had 11 hits. Johnson hit a double for Alta, and Scheel drove in two runs. Pereira, Hall and Logan Thayne had RBIs, and Scheel had two. 

The Hawks got some great individual play this season, including from Stevensen, who had 56 strikeouts and posted a 4-3 record on the mound. Pitcher John Warren had 54 strikeouts and went 1-1. Pereira had two home runs, two triples, nine doubles and 33 RBI. Johnson also had a pair of home runs this season. He added two triples, six doubles and 24 RBI. Hall and Carson Rex added home runs this season. 

Hopes are high for the Hawks next season. 

Alta will return Pereira to the lineup, as the junior will be back for his senior season. Johnson was just a sophomore, while Scheel and Hall will be back as seniors. Stevensen was just a junior, as was Lohness. λ