BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, May 9, 2022
As the baseball regular season was winding down, only two teams stood in the way of a region championship for the Bear River High baseball team. With wins against Mountain Crest High and Ridgeline High, the Bears would secure another region 11 championship, the last one coming in 2019.
Bear River finished the month of April playing a three-game series with Mountain Crest. It wasn't the blowout wins and high scoring outputs that we are used to when watching baseball this season at Bear River, but the team was still able to find ways to win.
The first game was played at Mountain Crest High School on Tuesday, April 26. Senior Ashton Harrow was the starting pitcher for Bear River and pitched six and two-thirds innings limiting Mountain Crest to just three runs while striking out eight. The Bears put together another great game on offense, getting ten hits and scoring six runs on their way to a 6-3 victory. Offensively, the Bears were led by senior Alec Callister who went 3-for-4, scoring twice and senior Garrison Marble who hit 1-for-4, but had two RBIs and one run.
On Wednesday April 27, the teams met again in a low-scoring, defensive battle. With two runs in the fifth inning, Bear River took a 3-1 lead. With senior Hunter Harrow on the mound, it was a comfortable lead that proved to be the final score with the Bears taking the 3-1 win. Hunter Harrow pitched seven innings only allowing five hits and the one run. Sophomore Gehrig Marble was a standout on offense going 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored on a solo home run to right field.
The two teams finished the three-game series at Mountain Crest on Friday, April 29. It was another close game that didn't end in favor of the Bears. Mountain Crest scored early and it was too much for the Bears to overcome as they fell to the Mustangs 4-2. Senior Easton Potter went 1-for-3 on the night scoring one of the two runs. Senior Jhett Roche batted 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the offense for Bear River.
After closing out Mountain Crest, the Bears now set their sights on Ridgeline High and finishing the year with a region championship. On May 4, the Bears beat the Riverhawks at home in the first game of the series by a score of 3-1. Again, it was a dominant performance from Ashton Harrow on the mound. The senior pitched seven innings allowing only one run on four hits while striking out six batters. Senior Hunter Smoot had a great outing in the batter's box going 2-for-4 and scoring two runs.
On May 5, the Bears traveled to Millville to face Ridgeline. With a win, they would clinch at least a share of the region title. The Bears started off hot, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the first, the Bears gave up a run. It had the beginnings of a close, back-and-forth contest, but that run for the Riverhawks would be their last, while the Bears poured it on scoring eight more runs before the game ended making the final score a 10-1 win for the Bear River.
Hunter Harrow was slinging it on the mound, only giving up two hits and striking out four in his seven innings pitched. Great pitching and defense helped keep the Riverhawks from scoring, while the offense erupted and had no issues driving in runs. Gehrig Marble had another spectacular night going 3-for-4 and scoring twice, including a home run. Easton Potter went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and a home run. Ashton Harrow batted 2-for-4 with two runs, three RBIs, and a home run. Hunter Smoot also hit a home run while going 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
Friday, May 6, was a night to remember for the Bear River Bears baseball team. Senior night is always a special night for the players and with so many talented seniors on this years’ team, Friday was no exception. The seniors were celebrated before the game, but it was the seniors who did the celebrating as they finished the game as region champions!
Head Coach Donald Hawes on the team's success, "There are two key factors to our success this year. First is the grittiness of the of the ball club. The second is unselfishness. It doesn't matter who gets the credit. They all want to play for each other. When someone has an off day, someone else is there to pick them up."
The Bears were led defensively by Jhett Roche on the mound as he pitched six innings allowing just two hits and striking out four with fellow senior Garrison Marble at catcher helping control things behind the plate. Offensively the senior Bears showed out and each had fantastic games hitting. Alec Callister went 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base. Hunter Harrow went 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI, and a stolen base. Garrison Marble went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. Easton Potter went 2-for-3 and had two runs, a double and two RBIs. Hunter Smoot also added a run. The best statistical outing came from Asthon Harrow who went 2-for-3 getting a double and a triple. He also scored twice and had three RBIs.
Coach Hawes had this to say about this year's seniors, "The seniors provide really good leadership. Everyone else sees how they handle success. Everything trickles down from the seniors all the way to the freshmen. That's part of our program, that's our culture.
With the seniors dominating on senior night, the Bears ran away with the game, winning 11-1. The win secured the outright region title for the Bears as they finished the season with an overall record of 20-5.
Bear River will now look to continue their magical season as they prepare for the state playoffs. They will face a familiar opponent in the first round as they host a best of three series against Sky View May 12-13, a team they beat three times already this season.
Bear River vs. Ridgeline, May 6, 2022 - Photos by John Fronk
Bear River vs. Mountain Crest, April 27, 2022 - Photos by John Fronk