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KEARNS — Realistically, Enterprise had everything to lose.
Entering the final day of the 2A baseball tournament, the Wolves had an enormous task of having to beat rival Beaver twice to claim a state championship. But Enterprise didn't look at it that way. The Wolves told themselves that all of the pressure was on Beaver, and they had nothing to lose.
The Wolves played as relaxed as they would have in a preseason contest, and defeated the Beavers twice on Saturday to win their first state baseball championship since 1997. They won the first game 9-4 to force a true title game. Enterprise then prevailed in the championship game, 15-4, in a five-inning contest that was briefly delayed by lightning.
Enterprise's road to the state title got more difficult when it lost to Beaver, 15-10, on Friday. From that game, the Wolves learned to not worry so much about who they were playing, to relax, and just go out and play.
"We had a different mindset from yesterday to today," said Enterprise catcher Josh Pasini. "We were hitting the ball. Balls were dropping everywhere. They helped us out on a couple, but we just flat out hit the ball. It was a complete 180 from yesterday."
That much was evident from the start of the first game on Saturday. Enterprise jumped on the Beavers right away, scoring three runs while capitalizing on Beaver errors in the first inning. The Wolves stayed in control until the sixth, when the Beavers made a charge before ultimately falling short.
Beaver tied the game at 4-4 on a two-run double by Sam Myers in the sixth inning. Beaver got some more speed on the bases by replacing Myers with a pinch-runner, who tried to score on a groundout but was thrown out at home to end the threat.
Enterprise, energized by the shift in momentum, scored five runs in the seventh to force the championship game.
"That was a crucial, crucial play," said Wolves coach Kyle Bundy. "I think that was momentum-changing — for everybody."
Everyone in Enterprise's lineup had to step up in order to sweep Beaver. Tournament MVP Morgun Phelps threw six innings in the first game, and mostly cooled what had been a hot Beaver lineup. The 5-foot-5, 130-pounder threw all of his 14 allotted innings in the tournament with the last innings coming on pure guts.
"I've never seen a kid that tough," Bundy said. "He was hurting yesterday. He came back absolutely dying. He gave everything he had. He couldn't lift his arm by the end of the game."
Phelps didn't let on that his arm was in trouble while he pitched, but he was in excruciating pain.
"My arm hurt," Phelps said. "My arm was gone by the third inning. I was pitching on my guts and energy."
Another player dealing with arm trouble was Enterprise's Jade Hulet, who had barely gotten a cast off of his wrist on Monday. Hulet, who snapped his wrist while power-cleaning in the weight room earlier in the spring, threw the final three innings of the championship game.
"I had to get the job done," Hulet said. "I couldn't have done it without the team, though. I mean, the team is phenomenal."
The Wolves certainly were in the championship game. They blew it open with six runs in the third inning. Slade Moyle cleared the bases with a double that made it 9-4. Shortly after Moyle's hit, lightning and rain delayed the game for about 40 minutes. But not even the weather could slow Enterprise, which put it away with six runs in the fourth. A double by AJ Simkins gave the Wolves their winning margin.
The win gave the Wolves their 10th state baseball championship, but first in 2A. They have a glorious winning tradition in baseball, and added to it on Saturday.
"We're starting a new (tradition)," Pasini said. "This feels good. It's just awesome."