The Cody Legion baseball team’s season came to an end Sunday at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.
The Cubs went 1-2 in the tourney and finished 46-16 overall.
“All weekend the kids battled and really played well,” coach Bart Grenz said. “I think the community can be very proud of the way they played and represented Cody.
“I’d like to thank the community for all the support as we hosted this tournament and to everyone that came out to watch.”
Cody defeated Vauxhall, Alberta, 3-1 in its opener, then fell to Burley, Idaho, 9-8 and Layton, Utah, 6-3 to be eliminated.
“We all really wanted to win, but played some tough games that didn’t go our way,” Jared Grenz said. “I’m very proud of how we came back after AA state and played our best baseball.”
Cody 3, Vauxhall 1
In the bottom of the seventh with the Cody Legion baseball team leading Vauxhall, Alberta, 3-1, pitcher Heston Williams struck out the side Friday to cap off a first-round victory in the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.
“I felt good,” Williams said. “When I was throwing in the bullpen everything was loose and I was ready to go. It’s a great way to end my Cody career.”
Williams made the most of his final appearance on the mound as a Cub, striking out 13 and giving up just three hits in the close contest. He also got help from his defense, with shortstop Tyler Grenz making some big plays during the game and first baseman Hayden Bronnenberg scooping up a key out.
“The defense was amazing,” Jack Schroeder said. “We played good all-around baseball.”
Cody was the visiting team and got on the board in the top of the first inning. Devyn Engdahl hit a one-out single, Tristan Blatt was hit by a pitch and Jackson Schroeder reached on an error by Spurs shortstop Johnny Vulcano that scored a run.
Vauxhall tied the game in the third. With runners on first and third, Williams tried to pick off a runner at first and overthrew Hayden Bronnenberg, allowing Adam Vulcano to score and tie the game.
“Vauxhall is a solid team and did a lot of things right,” Williams said.
In the fifth, Elijah Leyva and Engdahl hit singles and Blatt was hit by a pitch for the second time to load the bases. Schroeder then hit a line drive that wasn’t fielded cleanly by Johnny Vulcano at short to score Leyva and give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
With two outs in the sixth, Blatt walked and stole second. Schroeder then hit a line drive to center to score Blatt and give Cody an insurance run.
“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Schroeder said. “I just wanted to put the ball in play and see what happens. When I hit it, it hit the sweet spot so I knew it was solid.”
At the plate, Engdahl went 2-4, Williams 1-2, Leyva 1-3, and Phillips 1-4 and Schroeder 1-4.
“It was a great game against Vauxhall,” coach Grenz said. “They’re a solid club and it was great to compete against them in the opener of this tournament.”
Williams gave up one run, none earned, through 7 innings.
“Heston pitched an amazing game,” coach Grenz said. “Him and Jack worked really well together and that was a lot of fun to watch. It was great to see Heston have an outing like that in his last outing in a Cubs uniform.”
Burley 9, Cody 8
Few of the close calls seemed to go Cody’s way Saturday night against Burley, so it was only fitting the game finished on one.
The Cubs’ comeback was cut short when the game-tying run was called out at the plate to end the game.
Trailing by three in the top of the seventh, Blatt and Tyler Grenz drew walks. Leyva then hit a single to bring in one run. Ethan Johnston was hit by a pitch and Phillips hit a single just past short to score one run. Leyva then headed home and looked to be under the tag, but was called out to end the game with Burley up 9-8.
“I felt my hand touch home plate before the catcher even tagged me,” Leyva said. “It is frustrating having the game end that way because we gave it our all and we were so close. Getting called out at home was a heartbreaker. None of us wanted to lose that game and we gave everything to try and come back.”
Cody struggled early on offensively, while the Green Sox took advantage of some pitching struggles for the Cubs.
Burley scored three runs in the first and two in the second to go up 5-0. After holding the Green Sox scoreless in the third, the Cubs got on the board with their first hits of the game.
Jared Grenz reached on a bunt and scored on a triple to center by Blatt, who scored on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, after Johnston made a big catch at second and tossed to shortstop Tyler Grenz to catch the runner trying to tag up for a double play, the Green Sox scored four runs on three singles, a walk and double.
“Burley is a good club and it was good to play and compete against them,” coach Grenz said.
In the sixth, Jared Grenz was hit by a pitch and Blatt drew a walk. Both scored on a double by Schroeder to left. Tyler Grenz then hit a triple and scored on a ground out to make it 6-9. Cody had the bases loaded after Leyva hit a single, Johnston was hit by a pitch and Phillips drew a walk, but the final two batters of the inning struck out.
“The kid from Burley kind of stumped us,” Leyva said. “He had a good off-speed pitch and hit his locations well, but we got past that. We started to jump on him when we started seeing the ball, going deep in an at bat, making him throw a lot more pitches and being patient.”
After two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, Burley loaded the bases before Tyler Grenz struck out the final batter.
“Our kids battled and we gave ourselves a chance at the end,” coach Grenz said.
Cody finished with eight hits. Leyva went 2-3, Schroeder 2-4, Blatt 1-2, Jared Grenz 1-3 and Phillips 1-4.
Max Williams took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits through 1 inning. Leyva went 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits. Tyler Grenz pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up no runs on three hits.
Layton 6, Cody 3
Layton, Utah, took an early lead Sunday and Cody wasn’t able to catch up in a 6-3 loss that eliminated the team from the tournament.
“I think we came out slow but then started to elevate our level of play to give ourselves a chance,” Jared Grenz said.
Post 87 got things going in the second with a solo shot by Carson Shaffer. In the third Shaffer hit a two-run homer to make it 3-0.
Cody struggled to get down the timing of Utah’s slower pitcher and didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning.
“Utah has a tough team,” coach Grenz said. “I thought their pitcher did a great job locating and changing speeds.”
In the frame, Johnston reached on a walk and Cody Phillips got on after an error by the third baseman. Engdahl then hit a double to right to score one run, followed by a double to center by Jared Grenz to score Phillips, while Engdahl was out advance to home. The final run scored on an error.
“We all took a deep breath and focused,” Jared Grenz said. “That’s when we started to get base runners.”
Utah added two more runs in the sixth.
At the plate Engdahl went 3-2 and Jared Grenz 1-4.
Engdahl took the loss, giving up six runs on seven hits through 5 innings. Blatt pitched 2 innings and allowed two hits.
“I though Devyn pitched a great game and he really hung tough after some big shots,” coach Grenz said. “Tristan came in and it was a nice change of pace on the mound.”